Family Volunteers

The family that volunteers together grows happy and strong together.

Many families today feel like they are constantly running in different directions. Between work, school, sports, and other activities, it can be hard to find time to connect as a family. But connecting is what keeps families strong and kids feeling loved. Some families make dinner a sacred family event and others maintain a weekly family night. Another way to stay connected is to volunteer together.

Why Volunteer

If your family is busy, it may sound counterintuitive to add another commitment to the agenda—but it could be just what your family needs to feel a sense of connection. Volunteering as a family offers numerous benefits:

  • It makes a positive difference in your community.
  • It gives you time together as a family.
  • It can strengthen family bonds by providing a shared purpose.
  • It feels good and results in a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Kids Who Volunteer

Volunteering teaches kids important skills and values. By teaching our kids to serve others, we help them to see that they are part of a larger community. Raising child-volunteers who will potentially grow into adult-volunteers is a gift that keeps on giving to our community.

Volunteerism teaches kids a wealth of lessons they might never learn in a classroom.

  • You have value. Kids who volunteer learn that they have something to offer and that they can make a difference. It is very empowering for kids to learn that they can make an impact.
  • Tolerance and compassion. Community service provides opportunities to encounter people of different ethnicities, abilities, education, and socio-economic status. Children who interact with people who are different from them are more likely to develop a sense of tolerance and an appreciation for diversity.
  • Responsibility. Volunteering helps kids learn a sense of responsibility on both a small and a large scale. They will learn to honor their volunteer commitment, but they will also develop a sense of responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their larger community.
  • Concrete skills. Volunteer commitments can help kids learn new skills that may serve them throughout life. In some cases, kids will discover a talent or passion that may lead to a future career.

Choosing a Family Volunteer Commitment

If you decide to volunteer as a family, you’ll need buy-in from every family member. Choose a cause that your kids care about. Involve them in the process. Do some homework and identify some organizations in your community that could use your family’s time and skill-set. Some questions to consider:

  • Is there a problem in your community that concerns you? (Homelessness, litter, environmental awareness, etc.)
  • What skills do you have to offer?
  • How much time can you commit?
  • Do you prefer to be inside or outside?
  • What do you hope to learn?

Some families choose to adopt a refugee family and help them integrate into the community. Others choose to volunteer at the animal shelter, or with a local trails system, or at a soup kitchen. Find a cause that suits your family and dive in.

Volunteering as a family is a win for everyone—your kids will learn about service, your family will spend valuable time together, and your community will reap the benefits.