One of the greatest benefits people get from volunteering is the satisfaction of incorporating service into their lives and making a difference in their community and country. Benefits such as pride, satisfaction and accomplishment—are worthwhile reasons to serve.
We all have talents and strengths that we can use to give back. Whether it’s a one-day event, like participating in a walk-a-thon together, or a long term commitment, like joining a program like Meals-on-Wheels, volunteering and being involved in the community can be a great way to spend time with your child and teach him/her the importance of helping others.
Research suggests that families who volunteer together have strong ties. Kids involved in community service have higher self-esteem and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. By volunteering, kids and teens learn what it means to make and keep a commitment. They learn how to be on time for a job, do their best, and be proud of the results. But they also learn that, ultimately, we're all responsible for the well-being of our communities.
Tips & Best Practices
- Volunteer in your community. Your child will gain a better understanding of the importance of helping others. Check out Volunteer.gov or VolunteerMatch for ideas.
- Start your own volunteer project. There are a lot of resources available for families and community groups interested in spearheading a service project. Here are some Federal resources to help you get started.
- Make giving and volunteering a habit. Set aside toys and clothing in good condition. Deliver the items to a deserving cause together. Talk about the process and why you care. Find more tips on raising grateful kids on PBS.org.
Chances are that if you are reading this post you are already committed to be a positive, loving, and strong influence in the life of your own children, and in the lives of the other children in your life and community. This month, further your commitment by volunteering with your family and finding opportunities to mentor kids in need of a strong, positive influence like you!
Where can I find information on volunteering?
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that leads service, volunteering, and grant-making efforts in the United States. Through various state and local partners and programs, the agency helps millions of Americans improve their lives and the lives of their fellow citizens through service. Some of the programs include AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Volunteer Generation Fund, and more.
How can I volunteer with my family?
Tips for Families that Want to Volunteer Together offers advice on ways to volunteer with your family. Also, ask your children if they know someone in the neighborhood who could use some help, maybe doing errands, or preparing food, etc. where you and your children can work together. You can also help organize a school event or, if you can, take the day off from work and go with the class on a trip.