How To Begin Volunteering With Your Family

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In my last post of this series, I talked about how you and your kids can create crafts that give back! Teaching our kids to use their gifts and talents to serve others is such a valuable opportunity we have in our homeschools. In this post, I’ll share some other great ways you can get started with volunteering as a family.

Since we homeschool, my kids and I are obviously together a lot. All the time, in fact. And since Dad has been working at home this year during the pandemic, even he has had a lot of “together” time with us.

But even though we are in the same space, we are often doing different things, and can easily become disconnected. It’s so important to find ways to bond, and spend meaningful time together as a family. There are many ways this can be accomplished; one way is in volunteering together.

Volunteering with your family can be such a rewarding experience, and is a great way to get everyone to come together and bond over an important cause.

Not only is it a lot of fun, but there are many other benefits of volunteering with your family:

  • Volunteering helps your kids develop empathy as they serve and learn about needs of others that they might not experience.

  • Being generous with your time and talents strengthens family values of responsibility and selflessness.

  • Serving others gets you out of your comfort zone (many times!) to do something challenging – and you might even learn a new skill or two!

  • Many memories will be made during the projects you work on together.

Create a Habit of Volunteering with Your Family

You know you want to begin volunteering with your family, but where do you start?

First of all, get the entire family involved! Let everyone have a say in how they might like to serve, and what causes are important to them. You might want to check out this post to help you set this foundation and create a game plan for volunteering with your family.

If you don’t know exactly what type of volunteering you want to do, you can check out websites like Volunteer Match or VOMO to find organizations and volunteer opportunities near you. From there, you can pick out something that best matches your abilities and your interest level.

Fun Ideas to Get You Started

There are a lot of different ways you can volunteer as a family – the important thing is that you just get started!

The links I shared above are great for finding ways you can volunteer locally through different organizations. You might even find a project that can even be “ongoing” for your family, where you serve with an organization on a regular basis. However, there are some other easy ways your family can come together to serve the community, even if you are short on time and/or money.

More Than Meal Delivery

I love these suggestions from Meals on Wheels. While you might typically think of them as a meal delivery organization, they have multiple opportunities for your family to volunteer (even if you can’t deliver food). You’re sure to find something the entire family can do together!

Neighborhood Service

Help your neighbors! Volunteering doesn’t have to be some huge project…it can be as simple as starting in your own neighborhood. Offer to help others with yard work, walking dogs, or simply make some extra cookies next time you bake with your kids and drop them off to another family. Take a walk and pick up trash – everyone in the family can get involved with this one!

Holiday Giving Traditions

There are many opportunities for volunteering around the holiday season. You might decide to work as a family to fill boxes for Operation Christmas Child or volunteer to ring bells for the Salvation Army. Around your neighborhood you might help shovel snow or volunteer to put up Christmas lights for an elderly neighbor.

Helping Animals

Volunteer to help animals! See my post for ideas on volunteering in this way; if your kids love animals, this might be a great way to get involved and serve your community.

Other Ways to Volunteer Your Time and Talents

  • Have friend or relatives with little kids? Offer to help babysit for other families so that mom and dad can have a date night or run errands alone.

  • As homeschoolers, we spend a lot of time at the library – your local library is a perfect place to check to see if they need any volunteers. Some things you might be able to do are help people use computers, help with children’s activities and events, or shelve books. You could even “adopt a shelf” as a family and make sure it’s books are always in order when you are there.
  • Volunteer to help clean your church as a family. When I was little, families took turns each week fulfilling various jobs to help keep our church clean. If your church doesn’t do this, perhaps there is some other way you can volunteer in your church.

Virtual Volunteering

This year, in-person volunteering has been tough. With social restrictions and general uneasiness surrounding the pandemic, it can be hard to know how to give of our time and resources. How do we still reach out and help?

If you are unable to volunteer in what might be considered a “traditional” way, virtual volunteering is the way to go! There are many great options for volunteering online, or ways you can volunteer with limited social involvement if needed.

Homeschool Resources for Volunteering Online

Youth Service America has a TON of resources to help your kids plan virtual volunteering or service learning projects for kids as young as age 5, and up through the teens. If you are looking for some homeschool resources or have teenagers who want to learn how to organize an event for a cause they believe in, check out YSA’s resources here.

Virtual Tutoring

Have a future teacher on your hands? Visit TeensGive and check out how your teen (9th grade and up) could become a virtual tutor.

Virtual Campaigns and Fundraising

If you have older kids, they might enjoy putting together a community virtual 5k run to raise awareness for a cause! Check out Bonfire for some great tips on putting an event like this together.

Another organization to explore is DoSomething. Teens can join this non-profit online and participate in digital campaigns supporting causes they care about. There are even scholarship opportunities to look into!

No matter what cause you choose to support, volunteering as a family will bring many benefits to you and your community. Make a plan to get involved this month, and begin to cultivate the value of serving others with your family.

Don’t Miss the 12 Days of Serving Others Series

This post is part of the series “12 Days of Serving Others”. In this series, you’ll find great tips and ideas on how you can incorporate service and volunteering into your homeschool all year.

I’ll link the rest of the series posts here to make it easy to navigate!

  1. Something Important That Might Be Missing From Your Homeschool
  2. The “Giving Box” and Other Ways Kids Will Love to Donate
  3. How Your Creative Cards Can Make a Big Impact
  4. Helping Our Furry Friends: Fun Ways Kids Can Get Involved
  5. The Best Boxes You’ll Ever Pack
  6. One Wreath Can Make a Difference
  7. Random Acts of Kindness: How to Make Them a Habit
  8. Why You’ll Want to Host a “Packing Party” This Season
  9. Crafted With Love: Wonderful Service Projects for Crafty Kids!
  10. How To Begin Volunteering With Your Family
  11. 7 Ways to Bless Others With Your Baking Skills
  12. How to Build a Great Foundation for Service With Your Kids

Comment below and let me know – do you volunteer regularly with your family? What do you enjoy doing together to serve others?

This post is also part of the 12 Days of Homeschooling Fun Through the Holidays Series. Click here to check out the other amazing bloggers who are a part of this, and to enter the giveaway!

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