The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is just around the corner! However, volunteering is something we should try and do all year long. There are so many benefits of volunteering together as a family and change in the world begins right at home with your loved ones. Here are a few volunteer ideas to get you going:
Volunteering with Littles (Preschool):
Family Promise: This is my absolute favorite thing to do as a family. We always serve as the dinner hosts – our job is to just show up and share a meal. We aren’t serving them as an us vs them – we eat together, the kids plays together, we just ARE.
Visit nursing home: It goes without saying that so many nursing home residents are without loved ones to visit. Another great way to serve and volunteer is by just showing up and letting our kids do their wonderful kid thing!
Society of St. Andrew: I haven’t done this one yet, but I plan to soon! This group offers opportunities for families to glean (or harvest leftover crops) to help feed the hungry.
Go for a walk and pick up litter: Hit up your local park and pick up litter.
Volunteering with Middles (Elementary):
Ronald McDonald House: Their Share-a-meal program allows families to cook for families staying at the Ronald McDonald house.
Food banks or homeless shelters: Check with your local charities – most have kid-friendly options to help stock and organize food pantries or to help feed the homeless.
Volunteering with Bigs (High School):
Red Cross: The Red Cross has a ton of great service opportunities for teens, but I think my favorite is hosting a Zombie Apocalypse Party.
Animal shelters or sanctuaries: Check your local organizations to find opportunities to clean cages, feed animals, etc.
Habitat for Humanity: The family that builds together stays together, right?
Want to celebrate the Day of Service, but stuck at home?
Here are a few ideas that you can do right from the comfort of home:
Start at home: Call a lonely family member. Skyping is even better! We all know what a ray of light our kids can be. Spread the love by reaching out to someone that could use a pick-me-up phone call. And if that person happens to be a little on the grumpy side? This can be a great way to teach compassion and to show that love isn’t earned or conditional – we are all worthy of love and compassion even if we aren’t always on our best behavior.
Make a Donation Together: Research charities as a family and vote on one to receive a donation from your family. This can be a great way to teach your kids about different world issues while also empowering them to be a part of the solution.
Write letters: There are tons of volunteer options here. You can write to deployed servicemen and women, retirement homes, or cancer patients. Depending on their age, your child can write a letter or make a drawing to send with the letter. This is a great way for your punky kid to show off his or her creative skills and spread some sunshine!
Here are a few more resources to volunteer:
Featured Image of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Great March To Freedom via Michigan in Pictures