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These days, we are spending more time at home and looking for ways to entertain ourselves while social distancing. Many families are using this time to explore family volunteering by participating in remote volunteer opportunities. Fun and engaging volunteer projects provide a sense of purpose and often a creative outlet!
There are many reasons to participate in family volunteering: it’s a way to spend time together, teaches children about responsibility and helping others, and provides fulfillment. Kids Health provides some ways for families to think through volunteering as a uniting activity.
We’re highlighting a few fun and impactful projects on our special list of urgent and remote opportunities that includes many kid-friendly projects, such as…
- Operation Senior Smiles – A card-making project for homebound seniors with our friends at the Center for Volunteer Caregiving
- Got an artsy family? Draw or Paint Pet Portraits to help dogs at All Breed Animal Rescue share their story and (hopefully!) get adopted
- Celebrate Earth month and help pollinators by using materials from around the house to make Pie Tin Butterfly feeders
Local families have already gotten to work doing good with technology or materials from home – read more about them below!
Family volunteering highlights:
- The Smiths – Courage cards and sewing masks
“My daughter and I have been making courage cards for cancer patients as well as sewing masks for those in need. I always have the passion to volunteer and pay it forward as much as possible. Whether you are in a pandemic or not. In times like we are facing, it is very difficult to find opportunities where you can give back.“ Cesely Smith
- The Thompsons – fostering baby chicks
“The timing for Wildwoods Farm’s service project to raise baby chicks could not have been better, as my family is home together and needed a little diversion!
Supporting a community farm/animal sanctuary where these sweet chicks will later be rehomed feels pretty good too.” Rose Thompson
- The Primus’s – Courage Cards
“My family and I are signing up to make and send cards 🙂 Two of our three children have had hospital visits and each time, the kindness of others helped comfort us during those difficult times.
We are so excited to hopefully be able to help give that to others.” Dominique Primus
Family Reflection Time
Reflecting on your family volunteer experience allows everyone – especially children – to clarify emotions, recognize accomplishments, and better understand the cause and who they are helping. Reflection can also help develop volunteering into a habit.
Questions to Get Started:
- What do you know about this cause already?
- Who are you helping? And how will your effort make a difference?
- How did the experience make you feel? What did you think about the project?
- Did you learn anything new? Did anything surprise you? If so, what?
- What questions do you have? Any new ideas?
- How can you keep helping this cause, or other causes?
In these challenging times, we are all doing the best we can. Using extra time, resources, and excess energy (looking at you, kiddos!) to give back is a great way to respond to this crisis.