Engaging your kids offers rewards for everyoneBy Kimberly Blaker
Volunteering is a great way for families to make a difference in their communities and makes for an excellent bonding experience. Working together to help those in need provides valuable skill-building and socialization opportunities for kids and adults alike.
There are volunteer opportunities to fit every family’s talents and interests. Share these ideas with your kids to see what triggers their enthusiasm. Then, make a family plan to put it into action.
Help feed someone.
Call your local soup kitchen or food pantry and speak to the manager, and offer your family’s service. Mention the age of your children in case there are age restrictions. At a soup kitchen, you can help prepare and serve a meal or do kitchen cleanup. For a food pantry, help with stocking or putting together food baskets for families in need. Some pantries also need delivery assistance since many poor families don’t have transportation to pick up their food supply.
Build a house with Habitat for Humanity.
This organization helps build and renovate homes for families in need of safe shelter. Habitat offers a teen volunteer program, and also needs volunteers of all ages at their retail stores. To find the closest Habitat organization near you, visit habitat.org.
Send letters to military members overseas.
Veterans, new recruits, and deployed troops need to know just how much we appreciate their dedication to our country. Operation Gratitude can deliver your letters in a special care package. For more information, visit operationgratitude.com.
Put together care kits for homeless shelters.
These are useful items to include in each kit: toothpaste, tooth brush, dental floss, a comb, a bar of soap, shampoo, a package of hand wipes, razor and shaving cream.
Plant seeds or greenery along a highway or main street.
Check with your city, town or county first. Then contact management at local nurseries, and ask them to donate plants or seeds for the project. Plant native flowers, shrubs and trees that won’t require watering or maintenance.
Rake, mow or remove snow for a disabled person.
If you don’t know anyone in your community who’s disabled, ask coworkers or friends if they know of anyone. Or reach out to disability organizations in your area and offer your service.
Aiding those hit by storms in NC
Many North Carolinians are still putting their lives back together after the devastating damage from Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael. Find out how you can help them, as well as learn about other volunteer opportunities, at nc.gov/volunteer.
About the AuthorKimberly Blaker is a freelance writer based in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Volunteering for a better world