Volunteering as a Family

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Volunteering is a gift to yourself, to your family, and to others. It’s a great way to engage with your community and improve your mental health. It’s also quite a fulfilling experience for everyone, no matter your age or background. Have you ever considered volunteering as a family activity? It may not be your typical weekend or summer activity, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience for the entire family.

What are the benefits of volunteering as a family? When a family volunteers together, they have the opportunity to learn new skills by giving to others. They learn that they have a lot to offer others by giving their time, service, and friendship. 

1. Connects you with others –
Through volunteering, families learn to work with others and follow instructions from individuals who may be different from them. Volunteering allows you to meet new people outside of your family’s typical social circle. It’s an opportunity to improve your social skills as well. You can collaborate with and learn from a variety of individuals who likely have common interests. Plus, your children will learn that we share more similarities than differences. We can learn from our differences, share stories, and connect with people who are different from ourselves.

2. Allows you to make a difference in someone else’s life –
Volunteering teaches our children that they have the power to make a difference in another person’s life. Your children look to you as role models; therefore, it’s necessary to model positive behavior, like volunteering. When you give back to the community as a family, your children will learn firsthand that even small actions can make an impact. They will see how good it feels to bring a smile to someone else’s face. Volunteering is an empowering and motivating experience for everyone in the family.

3. Improves your mental health –
Giving back is a mental health booster. When you interact with others through volunteering, you distract yourself from your worries. You also cultivate positive experiences as you strengthen bonds within your family and develop connections with other people. The social aspect of volunteering can reduce stress, combat anxiety, and decrease depression. When you make someone else happy, you will feel happier as well. Giving is a two-way street that benefits everyone involved. 

So where can you volunteer? You can start at your school, your job, your religious organization, or your local hospital, animal shelter, or a sporting event. There are so many places to give back within your community—you don’t have to go far to volunteer! In addition, your family can help your neighbor with yard work or assist your grandparents with errands. No matter what you do, volunteering is such a worthwhile family experience. You feel good as a family and make a difference in the community, while working toward common goals outside of yourselves.