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Volunteering as a Family For Your Small Act of Giving

Volunteering in a pre-covid world used to be relatively easy. You would listen to that altruistic voice in your head and heart, you’d research an organization that aligned with your personal values, and after a few more bells and whistles, you’d be happily on your way to becoming a philanthropic agent of goodness. And after a long and wonderful day of making the world a better place, you’d wipe your sweaty brow with the back of your hand, and then get ready to do it again the following week.

Volunteering As A Family While We Social Distance

However, these days are different. Most volunteer programs are operating under a different set of rules and standards for the purposes of keeping everyone safe. They may be temporarily closed or be operating with a skeletal staff in order to keep their important work going. Additionally, there is another factor in this new normal that can pose a challenge when it comes to volunteering: our families! Gone are the days when we could have someone watch kids while we do some volunteer work. Our family is constantly with us, which, while lovely in theory, can be very challenging in practice.

Volunteering as a Family Is The Solution

Thankfully, there’s a very simple solution: volunteer as a family! Sure, there are some new guidelines and tweaks to be made in this new normal of physical distancing. However, it’s still possible to get the “helper’s high” while keeping your family engaged and working together.

Clean Up the Neighborhood

This one is easy! Grab some gloves, garbage bags, and perhaps a few pointy sticks, and the entire family can clean up your community. The children can get involved with the decision-making process. Which part of town needs the most help? Which items should be recycled? Why is it important to give back to the community in this way? Perhaps this can be a weekly practice and each family member can take turns being the leader to decide on the operational aspects of this give. It’s so simple, yet effective, and giving back to the Earth is for the benefit of us all.

Dog Walking or Pet care

The furry friends in your neighborhood could use your help too! There is a myriad of reasons why pets need to be helped during this time. As everyone navigates this new normal, pets may be a little bit neglected. As a family, you can offer to walk dogs, feed some fish, and clean some hamster cages for the people in your area. You can reach out via community social media groups and negotiate socially responsible ways to help care for pets in your community.

Gardening, Lawn Care, or Shoveling Snow

Similar to their pets, members of your community may need help taking care of their gardens and lawns. Maybe they’re busy with some unforeseen challenges, they could have mobility restrictions, or if they’re anything like me, they just don’t want to do it. That’s where you and your family can come in to help! Giving someone some peace of mind by helping take care of their home is so valuable in these topsy-turvy days.

Lead a Physical Activity in the Park

Does someone in the family have a background in fitness? Or dance? Or just has a really loud voice? Physical activity and endorphins (happy hormones) are wonderful gifts to give your neighbors. And physical distancing can be easily adhered to in a public park. The kids can get involved in so many ways: creating and posting flyers, inviting people through social media groups, or choosing inspirational music to move to. They can even lead certain parts of exercise or dance activity. Have you even seen a toddler move around freely in a park? Talk about happy hormones!

Set Up Online Classes

Online connections have become so integral to our daily lives, and this can be easily utilized for the act of volunteering. Your family can host a meditation class on Zoom, or some kind of crafting class on IGTV or live stream on Facebook or What’s App. The great part is that as you and your family are giving together, other families are bonding. Your act of volunteering is giving others the chance to spend some quality time.

Organize a Community Food or Clothing Drive

Food donations and drives are usually prevalent at this time of year. However, there may be a set of new restrictions that could prevent people from participating in them. These new rules may be slightly cumbersome so your neighbors may not have the energy to take part. This is where your family can come in! Neighborhood donation drives are fairly easy to organize, and again, your family can work together to complete the operational tasks in a safe manner. This is a give that can really build momentum and help people who may be in need, especially at this time of year. Visit Charity Navigator for a list of charities you can help, organized by country.

A Familial Culture of Giving

Giving your time and energy as a volunteer doesn’t have to be complicated. The beauty of volunteering as a family is that it sets a familial culture that can last for years to come. Picture this: a few years from now, you’re all at a family gathering and reminiscing about the time you all began to volunteer as a group. The simple act of giving to your community has snowballed into a lifetime of happy memories, and cherished (and hopefully hilarious!) stories that have ben passed on through the generations. Maybe you’ll back and think to yourselves, “Y’know… 2020 wasn’t all bad after all”.

Has your family been volunteering as a group during these challenging times? Let us know what you’ve done or what you’ve tried. Share your successes and challenges on our impact map so we inspire one another to give. Sign up for your 365give membership and start sharing your giving stores!

 

 

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)