Volunteer With Your Family Year-round

Youth painting a picnic area of a park

Families can play a huge part to influence social good. When parents and children work together for a community cause it’s a powerful display of unity and caring.

“But families are busy!” you say. I know, trust me, I know. Yet, we must make the time whether it’s an hour, a couple of hours or a whole day.

How can families make time for volunteering during the holidays? I’ve previously shared how to begin volunteering (read here) however for families there are 3 keys to ensure a rewarding experience for all.

  1. Schedule time according to your family’s ability. Understand our younger children may need a break (or several) and may have limiting abilities. Be sure to schedule time so everyone will have a good experience. Whether it’s one hour or four hours, volunteering together is the goal.
  2. Plan ahead. Contact organizations to inquire about their holiday volunteering activities. Some organizations have requirements like age limits or waiting periods before volunteers are approved. It’s best to know ahead of time and be prepared to complete any paperwork needed.
  3. Have a backup plan. Parents, we know that just about anything can come up at the last minute to stop our plans. What if someone gets sick? If that someone isn’t able to be home while the family is out, then make sure to have a backup babysitter planned. This way nothing stops the family from their commitment.

Here are some examples of family-friendly volunteering activities –

  • Food drives
  • Clothing drives
  • Park clean-ups
  • Pet adoptions
  • Holiday event set up and clean up
  • Assembling care packages for Military abroad
  • Writing appreciation letters to healthcare workers, public service like Police Officers and Firefighters, and others who normally work on holidays

Also look to your school, church, and employer to find volunteer activities your family can join year-round.

In Stockton, the Stockton/San Joaquin Emergency Food Bank and Reinvent South Stockton Coalition, for example, offer volunteer activities the whole family can participate in.

If you are volunteering now, read this post to Maximize Your Volunteering Efforts.

If you have more suggestions or would like to share your family volunteering activities, please comment. Let’s share our stories to inspire families to volunteer.

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