The most effective method of teaching kids is by our own example and many invaluable lessons can be taught through a family volunteer project, not too mention the family bonding time volunteering together will provide.
So often parents set out separately to do their volunteer work of choice, not working with each other nor with their kids. How can the kids learn the fine art of volunteer work if they never see the example of their parents in action? Let the kids become involved in volunteer projects, working right by your side, learning things that will remain with them throughout their life.
Volunteer work can be done as part of a organized structure, or it can be done as an individual family. A family volunteer project can be as simple as deciding to clean a specific area of your neighborhood on a regular basis. In my neck of the woods, there is a community volunteer project called Adopt-A-Mile in which volunteers sign-up for a specific mile of roadway which becomes theirs to keep litter-free. If picking up trash once a week from the roadside does not appeal to you as a family volunteer project, there are scores of other volunteer opportunities just waiting for your family to become involved with.
Nursing homes are always looking for volunteers to do everything from visiting with residents and reading their mail to them, escorting the residents to the dining hall to providing entertainment for residents. Does anyone in your family have a talent? It might well be utilized as part of a family volunteer project at your local nursing home.
Your local homeless shelter can always use volunteers for food collection, food preparation and meal serving, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Raising awareness and raising funds for any number of worthy causes can become a family volunteer project. Reinforce what your kids are learning in school, or draw from the nightly news, regarding local, national or overseas disasters and see what type of family volunteer project might be spawned. A classroom discussion of the recent typhoon in Taiwan might spawn the idea of collecting monetary donations or non-perishable goods from family, friends and neighbors to send as disaster relief.
A family volunteer project teaches kids through example how to work together as a family unit, how to help others, how to plan, organize and execute the plan and how to overcome obstacles. Teaching opportunities arise even when a family volunteer project doesn’t go as planned, it will teach kids what not to do.
With the endless number of available volunteer opportunities, find one your family can be passionate about and get involved as a family. Teach your kids to volunteer by setting the example, you’ll be the richer for it.Luke 6:38-Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over….