Have you thought about the different ways you can give back as a family? It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 15 minutes or five hours, your family can do something to reach out and help others.
Why Give Back?
Simple it’s good for your family! Not only will you help build a better world, but you will also teach your children the value of compassion, kindness and what it means to be an active community member. YES!
Studies indicate that there is a relationship between volunteering and happiness, physical health, and increased self-esteem
It’s also great way to create strong family connections. So let’s get started!
8 ways your family can give back
1. Help your neighbors
This is a great place to start and it is a great way to get to know your neighbors and build a sense of community. You could
- Shovel a neighbor’s walkway.
- Bring in their garbage can.
- Place some valentine candy in a bag, tie a ribbon around it, and hang it on doors.
- Bring a meal to new parents, or families coping with sickness.
- Make a point of waving and smiling.
2. Make a Microloan
Microloans are small loans given to people without access to traditional financing. They are often awarded to individuals in developing countries, and can be life changing. They allow people to start, or expand their own business, get an education, or improve living conditions.
The great part is that it only take $25 to get started. Also once the loan is paid back you can re-loan it to someone else. It is the gift that keeps giving.
One of my favorite charities is Kiva. Click here for more information about making a Kiva loan.
3. Give Up Something
Talk about the idea of donating and how it benefits others. Ask family members pick out one thing in good condition they would like to share. This could include gently used toys, clothes, books, or craft supplies. Go as a family to donate these items to an organization that helps others.
4. Volunteer in Your Community
Community organizations are often looking for volunteers to help. Check at food banks, libraries, soup kitchens, faith communities, animal shelters, and environmental groups.
This is a simple project that can have a big impact. Get into the habit of picking up litter on your street as you walk by or organize a larger clean up project. For more information check out the Litter Project.
6. Help seniors
Many seniors appreciate a helping hand to do day-to-day chores. Others suffer from loneliness, especially those who are home-bound, or confined to a nursing home. You could
- Volunteer to do yard work at an elderly neighbor’s house.
- Invite a senior to join your family for meals or movie nights.
- Adopt a senior in a nursing home and visit regularly.
- Make and deliver tray favors for a nursing home. Here’s a cute one for Valentine’s Day.
7. Make a Basket of Smiles
Think about the people in your community that serve your family (teachers, local police, firefighters, nurses). Invite your children to help you make up a basket of tasty treats to bring a smile to their faces. You could also write notes of thanks and pop them in the basket. Go as a family to deliver the gift.
8. Donate to the Food Bank
Another simple ways to reach out. Unfortunately hunger is an ever-present reality for many people. Food banks are always in need of donations.
- Make it a habit to buy something for the food bank every time you shop. Include your children by asking them to pick out one item to donate. Have them put it in the donation box or take it to the food bank.
- When you have a birthday party, ask guests to bring donations to the food bank instead of gifts.
- One week each month make an effort to use the food you already have in your house. Instead of going for more groceries make meals with the contents of your fridge, freezer or pantry. Use the money you save to buy donations for the food bank.
There are so many opportunities to give. Sometimes the hardest part is choosing! I believe any acts of kindness (no matter how small) have a powerful impact on those who give and those who receive. So go out and do something kind with your family! I believe in you!
How does your family give back? Was there a suggestion made today that you would like to try?
Want to read more?
Pennies of Time is a website dedicated to helping families discover how to care for others. They emphasize small acts of kindness that have a big impact.
Take a look at my Acts of Kindness For Kids board on Pinterest.
Follow Rediscovered Families’s board Acts of Kindness For Kids on Pinterest