Looking for an activity your whole family will enjoy? Volunteering can be a dynamic, rewarding way to bring everyone together. Whether you’re organizing a food or clothing drive or cleaning up a street or river, volunteering as a family amplifies your impact on the cause—and gives you some quality time together. Service can get everyone thinking positively and prioritizing what’s important. Plus, you’ll make some great memories!
If giving back is already a priority for you and your family, find ways to work around challenges like age restrictions and try out some of these fun and fruitful family ideas.
What’s right for your family?
Start with a family conversation so everyone can weigh in on the idea. Ask what cause or event everyone is interested in and can agree on. The more the family is amped up about a cause, the more rewarding the experience will be. Create the Good has plenty of inspiration, project guides and existing opportunities to get the conversation going.
It’s challenging to juggle the work, errands and social life of one person’s calendar, so coordinating the schedules of an entire family can seem nearly impossible! Be realistic about what you can give and when the whole family will be able to join. Check with your local volunteer options to see if weekend or evening help is needed.
Volunteering together could be just what the doctor ordered for hectic family lives. It’s like hitting the pause button: You’re together and engaging with others, feeling energized—and everyone’s focused on the same goal of doing good.
Once you agree on a cause and amount of time you’re able to dedicate, you’re ready to see what’s out there!
Get the whole family involved—children, grandparents, maybe even the dog! Everyone has something distinct to offer.
And what better way to teach your kids or grandkids about the true meaning of giving than to do it with them? If you already give your time, bring them along on your next volunteering project—or ask them what’s important to them and let them choose.
From small to large, there are countless project opportunities to connect with.
- First, try searching for local ideas right in your neighborhood at createthegood.org.
- Many volunteer search sites give the option of searching based on whether the volunteering gig is appropriate for the whole family. Idealist.org has an “appropriate for families” filter and VolunteerMatch.org has a “Great for Kids” and a “Great for 55+” filter.
- Other volunteering sites such as Doing Good Together and Big Hearted Families are focused specifically on volunteering as a group. Big Hearted Families organizes projects by interest area, from environment-focused to helping animals.
Not old enough? Not a problem!
Many places like shelters, halfway houses or other groups may have age restrictions on who can come help. Don’t let that stop you and your young ones from doing good!
If you want to help serve food with the kids at a homeless shelter, and there’s an age restriction, just ask the shelter what your options are. Chances are there’s still a way to give back. For example, some shelters may allow you to make food in bulk at home ahead of time and drop it off. This lets even the little ones get in on the volunteering action.
Children can also get involved—and learn the value of volunteering—at an early age by donating toys, books and school supplies they’ve outgrown. Talk with them about what it means to give away their old things and how another child’s life could be improved. Then, actively engage them in organizing a book, toy or school supply drive. You’ll be surprised by just how much project management the kids have in them!
Don’t want to leave Spot behind? Animal lovers rejoice, we have plenty of ideas for volunteering with and for your furry friends!
Can’t find anything out there you like? Take the reins and kickstart your own project! Organize a drive and have your family host the drop-off location or commute around town to pick up from various donators. Get inspired and check out Create the Good for even more ideas.
Feeling crunched for time? Helping can start small and add up: Start a fund jar in your house for all the loose change lying around. Label it with a cause that you and your family support, and have the kids count it every week or month. Then take them along when you donate it, so they can see exactly who they’re helping.