- Category: Family Capers - Service Projects
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- Written by Bryan
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Family Service Projects
Service projects and volunteering... we all think these are great ideas and most of us give them our greatest intentions. We then justify our lack of action by telling ourselves that some other person or family can do them. We rationalize why we do not volunteer as a family with a pile of excuses. While there is some truth in these excuses, they show a limited view of what family service projects are. A more complete picture of Family Service Projects offers many opportunities that any family can do.
The key to getting started is to believe in the importance of volunteer service.
Of all the Family Capers shared on this site, Family Service Projects is the one caper with the greatest potential for long-term positive impact on both parents and children alike. There are not many lessons we can teach our family that are more important than service to others. It is a core value that must be cultivated for any society to exist and grow. There are real benefits not only for the obvious recipients, but personal growth that happens for the volunteers. Additionally, the lifelong memories accompanying these activities will include deep feelings of satisfaction.
Once we agree that volunteering and service projects are important, we can then start to honestly tackle the obstacles that stand in our way.
The majority of excuses focus on time or specifically the lack of time. This type of thinking is used to avoid most activities documented throughout Family Capers. It is also the easiest excuse to overcome because it is the one thing each family can truly control. Simply prioritize the family service project before other activities or forms of entertainment.
Other excuses are about the family members' abilities. Justifications such as family members are too young or too old to do a service project. As you can see in the list below, there are an overabundance of ideas and opportunities that fit any age group or ability.
With young children there are serious concerns for safety. Parents should be careful to select service projects or volunteer opportunities where the they can stay with their children at all times. Never place a child in a situation where safety is at risk. Again, there are many volunteering possibilities where safety is not an issue.
There are many more rationalizations we can make as to why not to do a family service project. The point is that families who value service to others will transcend the excuses and rise to the occasion.
Here are several simple volunteering ideas that can be done as Family Service Projects:
- Make cards and deliver to nursing home
- Make cookies for housebound neighbors
- Run a local neighborhood food drive to donate to local food pantry
- Visit veteran's at hospital on Veteran's Day
- Volunteer time at local soup kitchen
- Run a book drive for library
- Neighborhood trash clean up
- Do lawn work for elderly or infirmed
- Shovel snow for elderly or infirmed
- Perform trail maintenance
- Paint at a shelter
Visit the Family Service Project section of Family Capers to see several of these ideas detailed.
Here are some great web links that will help you with your Family Service Projects:
- Random Acts of Kindness Excellent List of Ideas
- Volunteer Resource Center - Family volunteers by idealist.org
- Top 10 Tips for Setting Up a Family Volunteer Program by about.com
- Parent's Guide to Volunteering by generationON.org
- Find a Great Place to Volunteer by VolunteerMatch.org
- Create the Good by AARP
- Community Service: A Family's Guide to Getting Involved by kidshealth.org
- Article listing 60 ways to better your community.
- Article listing United We Serve is a nationwide service initiative.
- 30 Blogs With Family Themed Volunteer Ideas
Please tell us about your volunteering activity or family service project in the comments below or contact us directly.