Family Volunteer Day 2017 – Get Involved In Your Community as a Family
This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Family Volunteer Day. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.
Family Volunteer Day is a global day of service created to encourage families to volunteer together in support of their neighborhoods and communities — not only on the day of the event, but also throughout the holiday season and every day during the year. This incredible opportunity to serve “alongside” countless others is held annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year, Family Volunteer Day is on November 18th – and I hope you’ll consider participating! (We will be!)
Volunteering is a wonderful way to share your values with your children. Whether you are passionate about social justice, ending bullying, caring for animals, or supporting veterans – there are ways to get involved. We want our children to grow up with an “others mindset.” I want to teach my children to actively look for ways to make the world around them a kinder and better place. For our family, it’s not enough to talk about meeting needs and loving others – we want our kids to have real-life, hands-on, active service opportunities.
This year, my family chose to make and distribute cards to the elderly. So many in our elderly community experience feelings of loneliness. As the holiday season approaches, we want to do our part to let the elderly in our community know they are not forgotten.
All four of my kids worked together to create the cards. They enjoyed drawing pictures and coming up with cheerful messages. Our goal was to create cards that would bring a smile to the recipient’s face. One of the phrases we say around our home is “Be the reason someone smiles today.” I think this service project will help them live that out.
It was so heartwarming to see what each of my kids decided to draw on the cards. They tried to choose images and phrases that would make the recipient feel happy and seen.
I love that this is a project that the kids could really take ownership of. It’s so important for our kids to know that their age/size/experience, etc doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of doing BIG things! I want them to know that even a small gesture of kindness can create change.
As we worked on the cards, I gave the kids the goal of creating 5 cards each. My first grader quickly calculated how many people would receive cards and said, “That’s just not enough cards. We can do more.” I loved it!
Our church operates a food pantry every Tuesday. During the morning, the pantry operates special hours just for the elderly. We decided to distribute our cards during “Senior Distribution” hours at the 6:8 Food Pantry. My eldest child was able to go with her father and distribute some of the cards herself. It was a great experience for her to see the impact a simple gesture made. She was able to pass out the cards to several of the pantry volunteers as well as several of the clients. She received many words of kindness in return, as well as several hugs!
My kids are learning that kindness and service change the world. I am proud to partner with Family Volunteer Day and hope that your family may be inspired to take action in your community. Even a small gesture can make a BIG difference in someone else’s life.
Family Volunteer Day is sponsored by The Walt Disney Company and brought to you by generationOn, the youth division of Points of Light. I encourage you to visit www.generationOn.org/fvd to learn more about Family Volunteer Day, gather resources and project ideas, and to find the inspiration you need to take part! When you search the Family Volunteer Day page, you’ll find lots of ways that your family can volunteer through local service projects in your own neighborhood or find more than 100 DIY projects! There are SO many ways your family can get involved and make a difference in your community. What will you do this year?
Join the Conversation using #FamilyVolunteerDay