Growing up, I can remember asking my dad why he did so much for others. As a small child, I didn’t understand why he put time and money into people outside of his family. I didn’t grasp the concept that giving back was it’s on reward. But from the time I was small, he would sit me down, look at me with an earnest expression and say a simple phrase: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Now, it wasn’t that my family had tons of things. It wasn’t that we were so well off. But my dad could look around him at his home, his family, his life and know that he was blessed. And simply because of that, he wanted to be a part of blessing others. Growing up with a man like this, giving back was just something that was part of our lives. It was expected. It was important. And as I grew older, I knew that the desire to give back was a legacy I wanted to pass on to my own children.
Over the years, I’ve searched to find projects and ways that my family can give back. I’ve searched for activities that allow my youngest to grow up in the same tradition I did and encourage my oldest to continue investing in others well past his teen years. We’ve packed boxes, collected donations and participated in community projects. And through it all, I’ve discovered that there are few things that bring as much joy as volunteering to help make the lives of those in our community better. It’s highly rewarding. It’s super important. And if your family is ready to get involved, it’s time to act! Here are a few simple tips to get you started (plus a fun project my family is currently working on).
Volunteer As A Family
Volunteering as a family can have a huge impact….not only on those that you are helping but on your family as well. I know that for my family, we don’t have tons of extra time. So on the weekend or during those times off school, we want to be together. While I want to give back, I don’t want to run off and leave them at home. The perfect solution for us is volunteering together. And since I recently found out that Family Volunteer Day is quickly approaching, I figured it was a great time to up our game and find some easy ways to give back.
So, I guess before I invite you to join in, I should explain what Family Volunteer Day is. Now in it’s 26th years, Family Volunteer Day, powered by generationON and sponsored by The Walt Disney Company, is held anually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It’s a day that demonstrates and celebrates the power of families who volunteer together to help support their neighbors and neighborhoods. It’s a day to come together and find fun and easy ways to volunteer as a family and it’s a great starting point if you are looking for simple ways to give back in and around your community!
Find Fun Projects that Make a Difference
As part of Family Volunteer Day, my family was challenged to find a fun yet simple project that allows us to give back. While we volunteer all year long, I saw this as an opportunity to continue to teach my children the importance of giving back. Inspired by the variety of projects on the Family Volunteer Day website, I sat down and through about what we could do. I’ll admit, in the past I’ve always thought that volunteering meant giving back outside of our home. But with our busy fall schedule, I was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to do it. However, I quickly discovered that Family Volunteer Day is about more than heading out into the community. While it’s amazing to do just that (and I highly encourage it), the Family Volunteer Day website features a number of activities that can be done in your own home, like the Cheery Cards my family chose to make.
Designed to help bring bring hope and happiness to those who are suffering from loneliness and illnesses, this project encouraged my family to spend time together creating fun holiday cards to sent to local hospitals, children’s homes and nursing homes. As we discussed the fact that loneliness has doubled in the US since the 1980’s, we put together fun holiday cards that both of my boys loved making and that are sure to bring smiles to a variety of people throughout our community this holiday season.
The ability to make these cards together as a family was so special and the fact that everyone could pitch in, from my kindergartner to my hubby, really brought us together in a way that was meaningful and that allowed us to teach our children more about how giving back in small ways can make a big difference! Check out our fun video below to find out more about this project and what it taught our children.
Be Deliberate About Giving Back
After completing our Cheery Cards, we were more inspired than ever to volunteer as a family and to continue to give back to our community in large and small ways. My boys wanted to know when we could do something like this again. The hubby and I couldn’t wait to find more new ways to volunteer as a family. And all of us wanted to continue giving back in new and unique ways. So, we decided that as a family, we’re going to volunteer together once a month, starting on National Volunteer Day, which this year falls on November 19th. Starting with that date, we’ll mark our calendars once a month so that we can continue a tradition that started with my dad and will hopefully continue for generations to come!
Are you ready to get involved and start volunteering as a family. Now is the time! I want to challenge each of you to join with my family on November 19th for Family Volunteer Day. As part of this amazing day sponsored by generationON, the youth division of Points of Light which is the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, families throughout the world will be volunteering together to make a difference in their communities. From big projects out in their community to simple ones like our Cheery Cards, there is a way for EVERY family to be involved! To get started, head to the Family Volunteer Day website today to find a project you can do with your own family. Projects are available in both English and Spanish and the best part is, you can win big for showing how your family gets involved this year. That’s right! Families who share their Family Volunteer Day experience on the website become eligible to win on of four $500 gift cards to help with holiday shopping! But the prizes don’t stop there! You’ll also have a chance to win one of five “family night out” prizes which include dinner and a movie! Be sure to add your idea once you’ve picked the perfect one and don’t forget to tweet, post, snap and share all your Family Volunteer Day fun using the #familyvolunteerday hashtag to help raise awareness of this awesome day! It’s the perfect way to spread the word to your friends and extended family and get everyone involved! Let’s make it our goal to all volunteer on November 19th and find simple ways to change our community, bring joy and give back one project at a time!
To find out more about Family Volunteer Day and choose your own project, be sure to visit the generationON website. Then follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to see fun projects and find out more about how volunteering as a family can change your community!
Then tell me, will you and your family commit to joining me to give back to your community this Family Volunteer Day?