Make volunteering a family affair
If you’re a parent, you probably already know that children watch everything you do. You are their first and most important role model. When you choose to give back to your community by participating in volunteer efforts, you’re teaching your children how important it is to make a difference in the lives of others, and how good it feels to give back.
Family Volunteer Day is celebrated annually on November 19. If you’ve never gathered the family to participate in volunteer work together, that’s the perfect day to start – and Foresters FinancialTM can help! We believe in enriching lives and building strong communities, and that’s why we invest time and money in ways we can work together to make a difference, including neighborhood programs, charities, and scholarships.
Foresters volunteer opportunities
- Volunteer at a Ronald McDonald House®. A home-away-from home, each Ronald McDonald House gives families a place to stay close to the hospital where their child is being treated. If you organize a Cookies With Care Activity through Foresters, your family members of all ages can help you make cookies for residents that would be sure to appreciate a sweet, homemade treat.
- Host a care kit event. Foresters Community Grants allow members to plan local activities for their families and other Foresters members, creating exciting volunteer opportunities – like a Foresters Care Packages activity. Foresters can provide you with up to $2,500 in funding, as well as tools and resources to help ensure that your care kit event is successful. You and your family members might put together hygiene kits for a local homeless shelter, or comfort kits for children in crisis, for example.
- Commit to participating in a playground build. Foresters and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring all kids get the balance of active play they need to thrive, are committed to creating safe places to play within walking distance of every child. Since 2006, we have helped build more than 120 playgrounds with the help of Foresters member volunteers. Visit MyForesters.com to find out if there are any playground builds being planned near you in 2017, and if there are make a family pact to participate!
Other family volunteer ideas
What you choose do will obviously depend upon the age of your children. Consider their attention span and stamina when choosing a volunteer activity, and make sure they understand what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and who you’ll be helping so that they can become as invested as you are in the process.
- Help out at a shelter or soup kitchen. Families often volunteer to serve meals on Thanksgiving Day, but there is a year ‘round need for help at shelters and soup kitchens. Contact your local organizations to find out if you and your family can be of service, but make sure to ask if there are age restrictions.
- Get crafty. There are countless local organizations that collect handmade items to give to charity. Hats, scarves, blankets, chemo caps, prayer shawls, and infant loss items are always in demand. If you’re crafty and your children are old enough, look up organizations near you that are accepting handmade items, then choose some projects and work on them together. If you’re not great with a hook or needles, these no-sew fleece blankets are perfect for almost all ages and skill levels.
- Many charitable organizations accept donated clothes, books, and small household items that are in good condition. Go through every room in your house as a family and see what items you can find to donate to those in need. Winter coats and boots that are too small are particularly great to donate at this time of year.
- Clean up. If the weather is still pleasant in your neck of the woods, take the family out for a walk around your neighbourhood armed with trash bags and gloves, and clean as you go! Make sure your children understand that needles and broken glass are dangerous and ask them to instead look for paper, wrappers, plastic cups and other kinds of garbage.
- Contact your place of worship. With a mandate to serve others and look out for the most vulnerable in the community, places of worship are often involved in charity work all year long. Speak with someone to find out if there is a need for your help.
Volunteering as a family is something that will change your lives and the lives those who are receiving your help. Teaching your children how important it is to focus on giving back is a lesson that will serve them for the rest of their lives as they carry on the giving tradition for years to come.
414356C CAN/US (11/16)