Volunteering together has always been important to my family. Over the years, we’ve found different ways to give back to our community through big and small projects. We’ve joined our neighbors in community-wide campaigns and we’ve also discovered easy ways to volunteer together without ever leaving the convenience of our own home. While we try to implement volunteer projects in our lives at least quarterly, this time of year with the holidays approaching we like to try to do more. You see, in addition to this being the holiday season when spreading joy is extra important, November 18th is also Family Volunteer Day, a day sponsored by Disney and generationOn where families around the world are encouraged to come together and volunteer in support of their neighborhoods and communities. This year, we decided that we wanted to make our volunteer project about giving back to first responders. With all that is going on in the world, we wanted to find a simple way to show them that they are appreciated and so we spent an afternoon as a family putting together First Responder Appreciation Bags!
Now, I know that people so often think that to volunteer you must go out in the community and in a way that is right. However, there are a variety of ways to volunteer and bring joy not just on Family Volunteer Day but throughout the holiday season and really every day during the year! For us, simply spending an afternoon together stuffing bags with goodies for First Responders was a perfect family activity and we’ll be heading out on November 18th to our local fire and police departments to give out our appreciation bags. So, how did our family put together these easy First Responder Appreciation Bags? Well, it’s was actually crazy simple! Knowing that first responders are often out and about and in need of the little things, we stocked up on some everyday items! Here are some easy ideas of what to put in your First Responder Appreciation Bags:
- Protein Bars
- Hand Sanitizer
- Gift Cards
- Small Notebooks
- Handwritten Notes
Once we had laid all our our items out on the table, I quickly printed out some labels thanking first responders for their service. Then we all sat down and passed around our bags, filling them with the goodies. Not only was this a perfect way for our family to spend time together but we felt great knowing that we had come up with an easy way to give back to those who give so much to our community.
With our bags stuffed to the brim with everyday items that were sure to bring a smile to first responders faces, we folded over the top of our bags and used the sticker I had created to seal them shut.
After repeating the process over and over again, we filled boxes with these simple to make bags so that they can easily be transported to our local fire and police stations. We also decided to keep a few in the car so that anytime we run into first responders during the holiday season, we have the perfect way on hand to bring a smile to their face and let them know that we really do appreciate them!
This easy service project was perfect for my family and we so enjoyed spending time together doing it. For us, it’s the first of many service projects we’ll be participating in over the holiday season and was the perfect way to celebrate Family Volunteer Day in an easy and fun way!
Now it’s your turn! Each November, Family Volunteer Day takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving (that’s November 18th this year). This awesome day of coming together with your family and community and giving back that is sponsored by Disney and generationON provides families everywhere with volunteer opportunities to experience the benefits of service to others. To get started, search the Family Volunteer Day page and browse through local service projects in your own community as well as more than 100 DIY voluteer projects that you can do at home! From easy projects like our First Responder Appreciation Bags to hands on ways to volunteer in your community, you’ll find endless ways to give back at www.generationOn.org/fvd that are perfect for Family Volunteer Day or really any day of the year!
So what are you waiting for? To find out more about Family Volunteer Day and how you can get involved with this global day of service, please visit the generationOn website or check them out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Youtube. Then tell me, how will your family give back through a fun service project this Family Volunteer Day?