Family Volunteer Day is a global initiative that encourages family volunteering. This day of service shares and celebrates the positive impact families have in their communities and neighbourhoods when coming together to volunteer. The initiative is run by GenerationOn, a youth division of Points of Light and sponsored by the Walt Disney Company. Family Volunteern Day is a day that inspires the entire family to help others, encourages families ot work together and share a community activity. It is a wonderful teachable moment for parents to show their children they are the change they wish to see in the world and any participation in their communities will make a positive impact.
5 Ideas for Volunteering as a Family
There are so many different volunteer opportunities in one’s community to make the world a better place. Here is a list of 5 simple volunteer opportunities you can do as a family and impact the world around you. And heck, you will all have fun in the process!
- Volunteer at Your Local Food Bank – This is something simple that will have a big impact. You may need to book a time for you and your family to help out for a couple of hours at the food bank, so be sure you call in advance to ensure that you have a spot. This will be a fun time for your family where you work together as a team and make an impact for the less fortunate. It truly does help the food bank to have people volunteering to help out any way they can because there is always work to be done and unfortunately, people will always be in need of food and other supplies which they cannot afford on their own. Your family can be change makers by helping at the food bank. You will likely get a lot a smiles as you work through your volunteer duties!
- Volunteer at a Local Pet Shelter – Spend some time with animals who need to be fostered or adopted at an animal shelter. Even though you may want to take all the animals home, support your local shelter and animals by spending time walking, playing fetch, petting, and showing them love and affection. Again, you will want to connect with your local animal shelter to arrange your volunteer time. You can make such a difference in an animal’s life. What better way to change the world, one animal at a time? Show them some love!
- Clean Up a Local Park or Community Area – Grab some gloves and garbage bags, get outside and start picking up garbage. Go to a local park, beach or even a parking lot at a mall and clean up garbage to help the environment. Now, this is something you will want to be careful with. You don’t want to be picking up needles and other drug paraphernalia, or anything that can be harmful to your health. This may be a volunteer idea for a family with older children who are more aware of what to look for and what should be and shouldn’t be picked up, but this is a wonderful way to make a positive impact on your local community and the world as a whole. One less piece of garbage on the streets or the parks is one less piece of garbage to harm the environment. Just think – if 1000 people each picked up one piece of garbage, that would be 1000 pieces of garbage put where it belongs. Thinking that way makes it quite powerful to envision.
- Volunteer During the Holidays – Christmas is fast approaching. With the holidays around the corner, fundraising drives are in the rise. Companies, individuals, churches, and schools are collecting money, gift cards, toys, food, clothing, and many other items for the less fortunate. In our community the local Salvation Army collects items for families. They always need volunteers to help sort and package items ready for families on Christmas Day. These Christmas Hamper initiatives take a lot of work and depend on volunteers to make it all come together. Why not contact your local Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul Society, or any other community service agency that might be running a gift drive for Christmas. Giving your time to help those less fortunate have a Merry Christmas is a precious gift.
- Collect Warm Clothing for Families in Need – Use your network to make a difference with families in need. Ask family, friends and co-workers to donate gently used or new clothing. My family and I are actually doing an initiative this winter, where we are crocheting scarves and placing them in the local parks by hanging them on trees, park benches and other spots in the park with a note stating: “If you need it, take it..and be warm.” We’ve called it #Operation Warming Hearts! We are so excited to be doing this and can’t wait to start making an impact in our own community, one warm heart at a time!! It’s a wonderful feeling and makes you want to do more and more.
Find Your Idea and Start Volunteering
There are so many ideas for volunteering as a family and impacting the world around you. The above list is just a few suggestions of what a family can do to make a difference in the world. You can research volunteering opportunities for families or do something that you and your family are passionate about. Make it a volunteer opportunity if you see there is a need for change! Don’t wait for someone to ask for help, just get out there and do it. You won’t regret volunteering your time as a family to make a difference. When you are positively impacting the world, there is no regret!
Please share any volunteer opportunities you and your family have participated in, either in the past or something that you are currently doing right now. Have you discussed doing a volunteer project with your family? Now is the time. Get out there and do it!!
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