How to Get Your Family Involved in Volunteer Work

social entrepreneurship Sep 22, 2021
get your family involved in volunteer work

by Amy Collett.

It’s always a good time to get your family involved in the community. According to Create the Good, “Volunteering as a family amplifies your impact on the cause—and gives you some quality time together.” Here, iDEAS Empowered by Youth® offers some guidance on how to get started and why giving back is such a worthwhile use of you and your children's time. 

Important Life Lessons

There are a vast amount of benefits to volunteering as a young adult. As Kids Giving Back points out, “Volunteering" immerses our children in real life, helping others and interacting with people from all walks of life.” It’s an immense opportunity for them to learn valuable life lessons and skills such as sacrifice, hard work, sharing, responsibility and respect. Giving back will not only instill a greater sense of understanding for others in your child, but it will help them feel empowered to move outside of their comfort zone as well. 

So, in the spirit of your next family night, use volunteering as an opportunity to create memories and bond with one another. Let the kids pitch ideas, get creative and vote on how they want to help out. Be sure to choose something that everyone can agree on so they feel involved. This will help shape their perspective of volunteer work and make it a fun activity everyone can enjoy. 

Something for Everyone

Believe it or not, there are ways for kids of all ages to get involved in charity work. If your child is too young to serve food or cook in a kitchen, have them donate items instead. The family can pitch in to find gently used goods around the house that can be given away to charity. Not only will this help a cause, but it’ll also declutter your home. Just be sure to ask what a charity needs first, as they may be short of socks, shoes, coats or gloves depending on the season. 

Another great option is to have your kids start a collection drive at their school to gather books, toys and school supplies for those in need. They can also organize a garage sale or lemonade stand in your neighborhood, and then donate the proceeds to an organization of their choice. 

If your family is just getting started, encourage small local acts of kindness. This could be in the form of helping a senior neighbor with their yard, errands or pets. If your kids are older, walking animals or cleaning cages at an animal shelter is a great way to volunteer their time. You can also visit a nursing home to brighten up a senior’s day by playing games, listening to music, talking, reading, watching TV or creating crafts. Picking up garbage or starting a recycling initiative are other ways to clean up the community. 

Take it to School

As parents, you may feel overwhelmed and lack the time to volunteer. However, even with small amounts of volunteering at your child’s school, you have a great opportunity to contribute and even inspire.  See if you can fit in a school board meeting where important decisions are made, or help with fundraising efforts. If your child is in elementary school, boost your presence in the classroom by reading a story or bringing a snack. 

Level Up Your Efforts

There are some families who have the time and the conviction to take their volunteer work to new heights. In these cases, it’s when they have a cause that’s near and dear to their hearts. For example,if your family has a relative with Parkinson’s Disease, you might organize a 5K walk or run to raise money for Parkinson’s research. If that doesn’t feel like enough, starting your own nonprofit to raise money and awareness could be the next step. It can be fairly simple to launch a nonprofit corporation in Texas, but there are legalities to consider, and there is a lot of work required to bring it all together. This includes creating a mission, determining your core values, budgeting for startup costs, fundraising and setting up a board of directors.

 Whether it’s the Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels, a holiday tree or starting your very own nonprofit, there is a way for everyone to give back. Just be realistic about what your schedule will allow before you commit. Lastly, remember to give when and what you are able, and know that all you can do is your best. 

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