Did you know that this Saturday, November 23 is Family Volunteer Day? I had never heard of it before today, but it is a wonderful concept for both children and adults.
Created 22 years ago by Points of Light, a foundation dedicated to volunteer service, Family Volunteer Day takes place each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and it helps to kick off the holiday season by reminding us to give back to our community.
It’s not always easy to get a child, especially younger ones like my own kidlets, to understand that giving is better than receiving. Volunteering can be a great learning experience for a child. Not only does volunteering offer a good opportunity to talk with children about the needs of others, but it also teaches them how their actions can make a real difference in the community. Volunteering together as a family provides an actionable opportunity to show to your children that actions speak louder than words. When your children see you giving of yourself and helping others, they will want to do the same!
There are plenty of organizations you could team up with for Family Volunteer Day. You can log onto All For Good and search by interest, keyword or state to discover the many volunteer opportunities in or near your local community. There Some families organize food or toiletry drives, work in shelters feeding others while others come together in a day of service cleaning or fixing up a community park. It can even be as simple as creating cards for children in a hospital, visiting elderly neighbors and helping them with errands/chores or donating books/toys to local youth centers.
This weekend we’re celebrating Family Volunteer Day with our kidlets by taking them to our local food pantry. We’re going to donate much-needed staples such as milk, peanut butter, bread, pasta, sauce, cereal, canned vegetables, applesauce, juice drink boxes, granola bars – all items that they sometimes take for granted, since they are readily available in our kitchen. We will talk to them about people, families and children their age who never know where their next meal will come from or if they will even eat at all. We hope to teach them through our own example about compassion and generosity for others, and to be thankful for their own good fortunes.
Now it’s your turn to share. How do you teach your children about volunteering and giving back to others?
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