Community Service Volunteers:
Get Your Family Involved

Community service volunteers are always needed. Becoming one can be a great way to get your whole family involved in volunteer opportunities that are close to home. It can also be a good way to get to know others in your area - and your own family.

One key to finding volunteer ideas that work for the whole family is to look at the reasons that everyone wants to volunteer. Do you want to volunteer to help out others in the community? Is it to interact with others in need or to make the area more beautiful? Each of these questions could lead you to different volunteer ideas. You can also check out Doing Good Together that has great ideas for family volunteering.

The next step is to consider what each family member can do. If you one person is allergic to dogs and cats, the animal shelter may be out. If there are younger kids in the family, that can be a factor, too, since some organizations don't allow younger volunteers. (We've found this to be more true than we would like when we think about volunteer activities for our family and my daughter's community service group - so check just to make sure.)

If you can't agree on one activity for everyone, split up into teams so that part of the family does one thing and the other family members do something different. You may need to do this for a variety of reasons, and it can be fun to compare notes afterwards.

After you've found your idea and picked your date, it's time to be community service volunteers. If this is your first time volunteering as a family, it can be fun to talk about what you think will happen and what you will like best - and then compare it to how things really go. It also helps decide whether that was a good volunteer option for your family.

What if you are already community service volunteers and are looking for something new?

Consider volunteer vacations. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Volunteer with Give Kids the World. If your family is planning to be in the Central Florida area, you can be a "voluntourist" at the Give Kids the World Village. You could also plan your vacation to make this one of your stops!
  • For something even more exciting, your family can sign up to be ambassadors through the Airline Ambassadors program. There are a variety of programs offered including ones specifically designed to involve youth volunteers.
  • Take a trip to a state park or national treasure and help out while you're there. Even with all the natural beauty that surrounds you, there is still work to be done. Options on how on you can help range from construction projects to documenting animal and plant species. For a full list of options, check out Charity Guide.

Whether your community is right around the corner or across the world, community service volunteers are needed. Find a great option for your family that fits your reasons to volunteer and get started!

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