As parents, we want a lot for our children. We want them to be well rounded, well read, and healthy. Additionally (and just as important), we'd like them to grow up to be caring members of our communities.
Teaching children the joys and rewards of volunteering in our communities has traditionally been put off until early teenage years with service-learning programs at school, Scouts and youth groups. When Marissa Vogel realized her oldest daughter was ready to learn about compassion in preschool she spent hours on the Internet trying to find meaningful volunteer opportunities—with no luck. She was looking for a single online resource listing projects appropriate for her daughter’s young age and a simple sign up process.
After her fruitless searching, Little Helping Hands, a nonprofit facilitating family volunteering in Austin, TX, was born. Marissa adds, "Preschool aged children have tremendous capacity for understanding compassion and generosity, and those values should be nurtured."
Several non-profits focus on getting young children and their families involved in volunteer service activities including Little Helping Hands in Austin, TX, and Blossom International in Manasquan, NJ. Both groups do the legwork for parents by organizing events tailored to young children and emphasize: “volunteering is fun!”. They offer experiences kids love such as dog washing drives, cooking meals for the hungry, making craft kits for kids in the hospital and packing care packages for troops overseas.
Steven R. Covey says it best:
"Can you imagine anything more energizing, more unifying, more filled with satisfaction than working with members of your family to accomplish something that really makes a difference in the world?"
Search for family-friendly volunteer opportunities at The Volunteer Family by zip code or call your favorite nonprofit and ask how you and your children can help.
For families wanting to initiate their own service projects, check out VolunteerSpot’s free eBook containing simple ideas for families to come together and make a difference in their communities: Family-Friendly Volunteering: Ideas from A-Z.
VolunteerSpot is the fastest, easiest way to organize parents and volunteers for school, team and community activities. No more reply-all email chains! Get FREE online signup sheets and volunteer scheduling at VolunteerSpot.com.