“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10
As parents, we know that helping those in need in our community is an important aspect to raising faithful and empathetic children. But, we also know that volunteering can take a lot of time and effort in our already very busy lives. So, let’s look at a few options that allow our families to dip their toes in the water when it comes to volunteering, but doesn’t make us feel like we are drowning in too many commitments.
Not only do parks connect neighborhoods and let kids get out of the house but they also help produce lower health care costs. According to, The Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, “Access to parks and recreational activities is positively correlated with rates of physical activity, which improves mood and contributes to overall healthiness. Health care costs are subsequently reduced.” It’s official parks help the mind, body, and checkbook. So, call everyone you know! Friends, family, grandma, your plumber, WHOEVER, and get them to join you at a local park for some well-deserved exercise and cleanup time.
Find a local park near you: https://mapofplay.kaboom.org/
- Trash bags
- Gloves to protect hands
- Clothes that can get dirty
- Dirking water
- Rakes and other tools depending on the project
- Contact the agency responsible for the park/rec area and let them know when you plan to be there. Make sure to ask if there’s anything specific you can do.
Make it Multigenerational
Whether you have a grandparent in the nursing home or not, making cards and dropping them off while visiting with some residents is an easy and fun way to hear some incredible stories. According to research, elderly that spend a few minutes a day with children are less likely to be depressed, while children who also spend time with elderly are more likely to understand and accept their own aging. Both parties will gain much from this experience. So what are you waiting for? Load up the van!
Bonus points if you can get a resident to talk about their favorite childhood memory!
The sad fact, from DoSomething.org, is that 1 in 6 people in America face hunger. That’s a crazy amount of people but, you and your family can help. Your children can decorate reusable grocery bags and fill them with their favorite non-perishable food items. Then find your local food bank and drop it off.
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” Isaiah 58:10
Reading can make an impact on lives by teaching empathy, reading skills, and allowing kids to hear stories they otherwise wouldn’t. But, some kids aren’t as lucky when it comes to easily going to the library and picking up a new, fun book. Scholastic states, “Not only do poor children have fewer books in their homes, but they also live in communities with fewer books in the classroom, school, and public library. If their neighborhood even has a public library, they are likely to encounter reduced hours and limited funding for replenishing and updating the collection.” Pass on the love and collect all your gently used books - have your friends and neighbors donate to you as well. Once you have your collection of books drop them off at your church or hospital or community center.
Those are just a few ways you and your family can volunteer together. Now go out and have a good time.
Originally Published 7/13/2017