Last weekend my niece and nephew helped me clear up a small garden patch in our housing society, uprooting thorny shrubs and creepers. They now use this clearing to play cricket and badminton. Each time they are thanked for cleaning up the place they are thrilled!
They may have not realised it but we volunteered…
This got me thinking of more simple and fun things we can do together during these holidays and that’s how I stumbled upon this idea of celebrating family day together volunteering. 🙂
International Family Day* is Celebrated on May 15 and falls bang in between the summer holidays. It is a working day for most of us though, so I suggest making some time this weekend to get together and volunteer.
Before I suggest some fun and simple family volunteering ideas that you could try this weekend, I would like to share some reasons why you should seriously consider volunteering together. When you volunteer as a family, children: ^1
- Get opportunities to pick up new skills and identify new activities they enjoy
- Imbibe life lessons e.g. Civic Responsibility, Caring for the environment
- Build self esteem and leadership skills
- Are able to better connect lessons learnt to the real world
Here are five family volunteering ideas that you too could try out this weekend:
- Clean up a public space: It could be a garden near your home, a beach,
a park or even a shelter home
- Spend time reading aloud, playing board games with elderly and homebound neighbours
- Make coloring books using downloadable web pictures and spend some time coloring them with children at community run day-care centres (You could visit a community summer camp for young children and do this too.)
- Organise a mini collection drive: in your neighbourhood, it could newspapers or gently used old clothes and toys and gift these to a local non profit
- Pack a school bag: with supplies for a year and gift it (You could use non-profit or faith based/ religious networks to connect with children who you could help)
If you are en-route or planning a family holiday then here’s another idea : Add volunteering to your vacation! You will experience first hand, a ‘non-tourist’ version of life in the community you are visiting and an opportunity to serve them. The sheer range of experiences such holidays provide travellers is unmatched. Its no surprise then, that the number of families taking these volunteering vacations is growing exponentially each holiday season.
And remember, the more the merrier 🙂 You could always ask extended family, neighbours and office colleagues to join in with their families too!Read More:
- *The United Nations observe May 15 as the International Day of the Family since 1993. It has inspired a series of awareness-raising events, including national family days and provides opportunities to highlight different areas of interest and importance to families. http://www.un.org/en/events/familyday
- ^1 6 Reasons Why Your Family Should Volunteer: http://www.parenthood.com/article-topics/6_reasons_why_your_family_should_volunteer.html
- Volunteer with your kids: http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/style/volunteer-with-your-kids/
- Why you should volunteer with your children: http://www.ytravelblog.com/volunteer-children/
- 30 blogs with family themed volunteering ideas http://www.pointsoflight.org/blog/2013/01/03/30-blogs-family-themed-volunteer-ideas