Posted Apr 26, 2019
Volunteering together is not only a meaningful memory-creating activity for your family it can also be a fun way to get the entire family out of the house all while teaching children about the importance of giving back. Spring is the perfect time of year to get involved in a volunteer project during a break or a weekend. Check out these five volunteer project ideas from our friends over at SignUp.com that will help you give back and create lasting philanthropic family memories.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Check your city or hometown event calendar to find a volunteer opportunity to clean up a park, school playground, or community center. If you can’t find an event in your area, organize your own! Neighborhood cleanups not only will it create a sense of unity, friendship, and community among the neighbors participating, but also have a very tangible, beautiful result for everyone to enjoy.
With careful planning and the help of SignUp.com, anyone can set up a successful neighborhood cleanup in just a few minutes. With a couple of clicks, people can SignUp to choose what to bring (trash bags, bottles of water, rakes, etc.), or when to volunteer. Automatic reminders help keep everyone in the loop so you aren’t scrambling last minute begging for volunteers or donations.
Help the Animals
Contact your local animal shelter or pet rescue and ask what you can do to help. Most shelters welcome volunteers to play with the kittens and adult cats, help clean out living areas, and take the dogs for walks at the shelter. Be sure to check age restrictions on these tasks, many animal shelters do not allow young children to interact directly with the animals but don’t let that keep you for helping the animals. You can create a SignUp for a supplies drive for the animals in the shelter. Ask your friends and family to donate pet food, toys, litter, and bedding as well as cleaning and office supplies. Don’t throw away your old sheets, towels, and comforters when they get ripped or stained. Save and collected these items for the shelter to use as pet bedding.
Visit the Elderly
Many senior citizens do not have family to visit them in their nursing home or assisted living facility. Residents can feel isolated or forgotten. Having surprise guests can mean the world to them.
Check with the facility before planning a visit. The director or activities coordinator will be able to suggest appropriate days and times for a visit. Make sure to ask about any rules and regulations you need to be aware of and communicate your plans and expectations for your visit. If allowed, your family could bring small gifts or homemade treats to share. Children can draw, play games or puzzles with the residents, sing songs, perform a play, read, or even simply talk to the residents to learn more about their lives.
Planning a visit to a nursing home will be beneficial to the children as well as the senior citizens. Children will be able to learn about respect, kindness, and generosity. It’s also a great way to cultivate a connection between children and elders. This can be done by scheduling regular visits, giving the residents something to look forward to. Just don’t promise to come back if you aren’t able to return.
Share Joy with Kids in the Hospital
Imagine spending day after day stuck in a hospital bed, unable to play with your toys, wear your own clothes, or see your friends. This is the life for thousands of seriously ill children every day. One way you can help is by starting a donation drive for your local children’s hospital. A small gift can make a big difference in the life of a child confined to a hospital.
Contact your local hospital and inquire about their needs. Then use SignUp.com to create a list of items people can donate. Due to allergies and infection risks hospitals cannot accept used items of any kind, but are thrilled to accept donations of new items such as board books, teethers, stacking toys and blocks, LEGO sets, new art supplies, crayons, markers, coloring books, craft kits, and playdough.
Save the Bees
Did you know that without bees, and other pollinators like butterflies, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, could not create produce? Bees are our most important and efficient pollinators performing roughly 80% of all pollination worldwide. Sadly, the bee population is declining. Without bees, grocery bills would skyrocket and most people wouldn’t be able to afford to eat fresh fruits and veggies. One way for your family to help is to plant a bee-friendly garden. Designing a sanctuary for bees is something kids of any age can do with a little patience and some help from a grownup.
Even if you don’t have a lot of space you can still create a bee-friendly area. Gardens and flowers can be created in flower boxes for small areas like balconies, patios, or rooftops. Contact your neighborhood association and ask permission to plant flowers in community areas like parks, vacant lots, or walking trails. Make sure to research what types of flowers and plants are best to plant for your area; don’t plant flowers too close together (bees like to focus on one flower at a time), and skip the pesticides, ladybugs, and spiders will keep pest populations down, naturally.
Volunteering as a family can make a huge difference, not just in your community, but also in your own lives. It can help you grow closer as a family, build communication skills and self-confidence in your children, and provide valuable philanthropic experiences that will teach your children that anyone can make a positive impact in the world.
CertifiKID was founded by a mom with a passion for helping parents provide the best experiences for their children on a budget. From outings to adventures, classes to camps, theater to sporting events, amusement parks to getaways, CertifiKID provides the best family-friendly experiences at unbeatable prices. Sign up for family-friendly deals in your area and start saving!
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