Strengthen Family Ties by Volunteering
Do you find yourself as moms and dads hearing, “There’s nothing to do!” We now have the perfect answer for you. Why not kick off the holiday season by volunteering with the whole family on Family Volunteer Day? Join in with the global initiative that inspires kids and families to take action to help people, communities and the planet. The holidays are a great opportunity for families to give back to their communities while spending important quality time with each other.
The benefits of volunteering as a family are countless. Volunteering teaches children about tolerance, compassion, empathy, community responsibility, and gratitude. Here are just some of the great things that happen when families volunteer:
- You become a positive role model for your children
- Your children will become involved with needs of the community and learn what it means to make a difference in someone’s life
- Volunteering instills a sense of responsibility
- Volunteering is a great self-esteem and confidence booster for the entire family
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Now that you’ve decided to get your family involved, where do you start? First, sit down and start planning as a family. It’s important that everyone feels apart of the decision making. Next, determine the impact that you want to have. Are you looking for a one time experience or are you looking for a commitment of once a month? Be sure to incorporate your family’s interests. Perhaps your children love animals or enjoy the outdoors. Be sure to find a volunteer experience that incorporates those interests so the whole family enjoys what they are doing. Building excitement is also a must do. The more you make volunteering fun, the more prone your children will be to continue volunteering throughout life. Last, reflect as a family. There are many life lessons to be learned through volunteering. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to teach your children.
Above all, have fun! You might consider teaming up with another family or inviting one of your child’s friends along. What initially might seem like another task on your to-do list can become a wonderful bonding experience for your family. HandsOn Maui has lots of non-profit organizations for families to volunteer. Take the time to browse the site to find out which volunteer opportunity fits your families schedule.
5 ways to get kids involved:
- Help the animals: Volunteer to help Maui’s homeless pets with the Maui Humane Society or Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation (HARF).
- Deliver Meals: Take your child along to deliver food to homebound individuals. Hale Kau Kau is a great organization that provides this service.
- Donate food: Each time you go shopping, let your child pick one canned food item. Once they get a full bag, take them to donate it to the Maui Food Bank.
- Clean up: Malama Maui Nui is always hosting beach, park and town clean-ups. Take the children along to help.
- Offer a ride: Take your kids along to drive cancer patients to their medical appointments. The American Cancer Society is always looking for driver.