Family volunteering| Get simple ideas to start a family volunteering project. Learn about the many benefits of volunteering as a family. Best of all, watch your children grow morally.
Family,  Family and Parenting


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Family volunteering| Learn how to start a family volunteering project. Discover the list of great moral values developed due to volunteering.

Family volunteering: Are you for or against it?

I know what’s going through your mind. Life is busy – work deadlines, soccer games, household chores, grocery shopping, laundry  ….….  how will you ever find the time to volunteer?

Well, ONE good reason to open your mind to family volunteering is that it will accelerate the personal growth of your family almost overnight.

Not convinced? Let’s check out what’s in it for you if you and your family start a volunteering project.

Susan McQuillan M.S. in How Volunteering Helps You in Psychology Today states:

When you improve someone else’s level of joy and quality of life, you give your own sense of happiness and worthiness a boost.

Besides, getting your kids involved, especially if they’re teens, is a lasting, character building gift that they will thank you for. Even if now they think volunteering in any shape or form is uncool, stick with it.


OK, the kids may find the idea uncool. The teens may even reject it straight away.

Woo them with stories of the rich and famous who volunteer. Name drop that Angelina Jolie, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, and Oprah Winfrey are very into volunteering.

Here are two such celebrities.

Hilary Swank, star of Million Dollar Baby, time volunteered in India with United Planet. She worked with children in an orphanage in a village in Northern India.




George Clooney, the silver-haired star, established an organization called Not on Our Watch to draw attention to the atrocities in Sudan.

First, win the family over. Perhaps a subtle but skillful stab at the family vision board decorating both the living room and kitchen walls?

Also, remind them of how the words, ALWAYS BE KIND TO OTHERS lightning flashes at you whenever you pass it.

Well, that is exactly what a family volunteering project is. An opportunity to show kindness to those in need.


Family volunteering is a character building activity. It allows the family to serve your community and enrich their lives at the same time. It exposes your family to new opportunities and improves their skill set.Let me explain why volunteering ought to be NO 1 on your To Do List.

To busy families, a volunteering project is like winning the lottery.

The windfall is unexpected but the impact lasts a lifetime. You reap:

  •  •   the gift of time – the twin benefit of spending quality and quantity time together
  •  •   the chance to get to know your family in new roles other than
    – as  parents and kids 
  •  •   the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others
  •  •   the powerful perk of growing morally together

This post gives you simple steps to make your family volunteering project zoom from hopeful to downright helpful.



Life is hectic for everyone but social problems like homelessness, poverty, hunger, and unemployment have increased and are continuing to increase.

So there is a desperate need now more than ever before for a culture of volunteerism to be built in all communities.

Of course, your cash donations are welcome to the beggars in the subway or the starving kids at street corners.

But the most rewarding experience is giving of your time and skills to provide relief and support to the needy.

Ok, rant over! Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this post.


It means starting a family project where you give your time and skills to serve those in need. The payoff is in the feel-good factor.

An example is getting together as a family to prepare and serve a meal to the homeless.


Volunteers are needed by community organizations to bridge the gap left by government programs.

Family volunteering allows welfare agencies to use the skills of people of different ages and backgrounds. They can then better serve a wide range of people in need of help.

Let’s take an example of a family of 5 – 3 teens and 2 adults. Mom’s a fashion blogger and Dad’s a web designer. The teens excel in academics and sports at school.

This is a family that rivals a fully loaded takeout meal in skills.

Here’s how they could use the combined family skills to serve a local children’s home.

  •  •   Update and improve their website
  •  •   Design a fashionable T-shirt to start a fundraising campaign
  •  •   Start a social media strategy to source funding 
  •  •   Tutor the kids in subjects they need help with
  •  •   Coach the basketball or baseball teams 


Have you tried the wellness shots that are so trendy now?

Well, volunteering as a family is like an immune-boosting wellness shot. You get a high from doing good so that others may benefit.

What’s in it for your family:

  •  –  reinforces the family as a team working to realize a common goal 
  •  –  personal growth for the family – you grow values such as
  •  integrity, self – esteem, responsibility, discipline, compassion
  •  –  develop new skills or enhance old ones
  •  –  widen your family social circle



Planning and getting your project going takes hard work, organization and determination.

It may be a good idea to start small to see how you gel as a family on a project.

Planning and organization are vital for success. Steps to take:

  1.  –  a family meeting to decide on a project
  2.  –  take into account the family’s schedules
  3.  –  brainstorm a list of volunteering ideas
  4.  –  decide on the activity
  5.  –  set up a plan of action

Here’s an example of the planning process using the earlier idea of volunteering at a local orphanage:
–  Draw up a  To Do list
 –  Allocate tasks to each member of the family.
   –  Make a formal offer to help the orphanage
 –  Brainstorm how you can best meet its needs
 –  Organize, collect or buy items needed
 –  Enjoy your family volunteering date

Your project does not have to be so involved. Look first at the needs of the people living on your street and see how you can help to improve their lives.

The elderly and single parent families are always in need of help. So you could start with them.



Give your tech – smart teen a chance to show off by helping senior citizens use their tech devices better.

Start a program like MAKE SENIORS TECH WISE

Many seniors especially those in their 70s are technophobic.  They find digital technology – be it a cellphone, tablet or computer – intimidating and complicated.

The aging process affects vision, hearing, hand-eye coordination. This makes old people fear the very devices that are the lifeblood of your teen. Seniors don’t want to feel stupid and so become wary of or stay away from such devices altogether.

However, there are many benefits of seniors getting to know tech devices like cell phones, tablets, and laptops:

  •  –   better social interaction via Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook groups
  •  –   mental and physical agility by taking online quizzes
  •  –   starting new hobbies with help from Pinterest
  •  –   joining age and interest related online forums

Hold classes at a venue convenient for seniors to attend – a community hall or at a retirement or old age home.

Recruit your kid’s friends so more people can be helped in a short time.

Group seniors according to their needs – cell phones, I pads and tablets, computers, E-readers and so on.

Keep classes small and teach one – on – one. Patience, tact, and understanding will speed up the learning process.

The reward will be the happiness on the face of a lonely grandmother who chats to a grandchild via Skype for the first time.

Or the joy of shopping online for the first time.

Or the thrill of chatting to family on their cell phones.

Seeing the positive impact on the lives of senior citizens is sure to make volunteering as a family a regular event.


We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But many children go to school without having breakfast.

Breakfast is important for mental and physical health. It gives the body the energy and nutrients it needs to concentrate at school.

The American Dietetic Association states that a child who has breakfast is likely to be more successful at ‘ problem – solving and eye-hand coordination skills. ’

This is a great opportunity to provide needy kids with a packed Sandwich breakfast. A wonderful bonding spin-off for the family too.


 –   Identify needy kids at your teen’s school or a nearby school
 –   Decide on the number of sand to be made
 –   Buy the necessary ingredients
 –   On the morning, at the appointed time, set up a production line.

With everyone’s cooperation, your breakfast sandwiches will be done in no time.

Your hearts will swell with pride and compassion when you see the kids’ gratitude for the sandwiches

Group of volunteers collecting rubbish in the park

Start a community project to clean up an area that is an eyesore in your neighborhood. Maybe, it is a garbage dump of litter and discarded waste.

Some shocking facts about refuse :

  •  –  plastic bags take 20 years to decompose
  •  –  cans and bottles take 100 years to break down
  •  –  styrofoam takeaway containers never disintegrate

Keep America Beautiful reports that the taxpayer pays more than
$1.5 million a year to fund clean – up operations.

These statistics demand that communities play their part in keeping the environment clean for future generations.

This cleanup project is a small step towards that goal. 


 –  Hold a Pre – Clean up meeting to involve the community.
 –  Decide on the date of the clean-up and the number needed
 –  Group volunteers according to 5 major tasks – cleaning, recycling,        gardening, disposal of waste, painting.
 –  Each group to source equipment before the day of the cleanup and        to get more volunteers.
 –  Provide refreshments on the day to reward for hard work done selflessly to uplift a once neglected area.

The satisfaction is a pristine, beautiful area that was once a cesspool.

The skills to be gained from such a project are leadership, negotiation, communication.

Most important of all are the many new friends of varying ages and backgrounds you’ve added to your social circle.


Are your kids straight-A students? Start a homework help project to help struggling students.

Very often a struggling student cannot afford to pay for a tutor to help him catch up academically.

So he finds himself in a vice grip – underperforming but unable to get the help he needs.

Here’s where your family can step up to the plate.

One- on- one tutoring is sure to benefit the underachieving student. A peer is not an authority figure like a teacher and so all barriers to the learning process fall away.

The needy learner is free to ask for help in areas of weakness. Your teen can tailor – make a program to best meet the needs of the struggling child.

The result will be active learning because your teen will deliver the content in simple ‘teen – speak’ format.

Instant gratification from a peer tutor – such as ‘ High fives ’ motivates the student to focus and learn.

This is a win-win situation for tutor and student.

The payoff for your teen – a sense of pride and in rescuing a student from failure.

Peer to Peer Homework Help on a regular basis makes a wonderful volunteering opportunity.

Kind nurse laughing with elderly patient in a wheelchair.

The old tradition of Sunday lunch at Grandma’s house is no longer practiced today.

Grandparents once saw their grandkids regularly and often had them over to stay.

Nowadays, families are scattered  – living in different cities, states and even countries. So many grandparents find themselves living on their own far away from their children and grandchildren.

Not everyone who lives in a retirement or nursing home gets visitors. Some only socialize with others in the same boat as they are. This often leads to depression. 

An amazing project to be a part of is Adopt a Grandparent.

Regular meetings with a grandkid – gives the grandparent a friend he can talk to. They could play board games, read, watch movies together or just chat about their lives.

The benefit is mutual. Your family acquires invaluable life lessons as you listen to the story of the grandparent’s life – the problems he experienced and how he overcame them. 

Lessons likely to be learned:

  •  •   Friendship can develop despite great age differences
  •  •   Acceptance – there are cycles in life of joy and sadness. You have to experience sadness in order to appreciate happiness

Family volunteering ideasYOUR TURN

Volunteering is tough. It demands time, effort and perseverance.

But the result will be crafting an extraordinary course for your family.

One filled with fulfillment and satisfaction.

Are you ready to create the life you want for your family? Take the first step. Start your family on a volunteering program.

Then sit back and watch your bonds strengthen and values deepen.

Do you have a tradition of volunteering in your family? Share your story in the comments below.

Please take a moment to share this post with your social media followers because I need your help to motivate others to do their share to make the world a better place by volunteering as a family.




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A former English teacher turned lifestyle blogger. Content creator for blogs and websites. Book lover, scrabble addict and crime show obsessor.


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    When I hit rock bottom 4 years ago it was volunteering (not as a family, solo) that helped me find my way out and also find my purpose. I’m now in Guatemala helping stop hunger 🙂

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    I love this. I did many volunteer projects with my family while growing up. We did local ones and ones in different countries. I’m excited to start volunteering with my boys when they are older. For right now, we are going to try to volunteer with donating toys and things like that. Thank you for these tips as well!

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    I love how your ideas are unique. Whenever I hear family volunteering I always think of meals (creation/serving) at shelters of some sort and it just won’t work with our schedules… yet you made me realize that we can use our skills in different ways in order to make a difference! My daughter is only 4mo and I’ve now signed us up for some volunteering thanks to you. THANK YOU!

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I started when my twins were young, teaching them what “giving back” means. I am an avid supporter of supporting my community.

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    These are great suggestions for why you should volenteer as a family. Not only that, it opens you up to communication with your teens. Sharing an experience like this can be very powerful and set the stage for deep conversations!

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    I admire your ideas and the reasons you give! Yes, family volunteering is important. I also believe in offering my time and skills for such activities, in addition to only financial help.

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    This is so great! I have done lots of volunteering on my own or with my husband, but I’ve never thought about starting a project that includes the kids – the fact that it would mean that I could still get some volunteering in while at the same time not losing time with my family is golden. I think that to start small, I’d want to volunteer our time with an organization that’s already set up – maybe a soup kitchen or the like.

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    I love this. As a volunteer manager at our local blood bank volunteering is vital to our communities! Consider hosting a blood drive at your school or church as a family!

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    Jen @ Jenron Designs

    This is such a important thing to teach your children, it will help to make them more well rounded and empathic in world where empathy is very hard to come by these days. It is good to humble and grateful, rather than privileged and entitled.

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    Sarah Fatima

    Great read and love your ideas about family volunteering. In this way, you can know your family more and spend a quality time with your family, which is really a great thing. Like the structure of your article.

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    This post is inspiring! It is important for a family to do projects together and even more fulfilling to volunteer together. My son is still young so we do little projects around the neighborhood to help out our neighbors but I’m going to try and switch it up and ask him what volunteer ideas he has. Great post!

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    This is great! Volunteering helps build empathy. And, we certainly need empathy in our world. Thank you for encouraging families to volunteer together and sharing ideas.

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      Poovanesh Pather

      Hi Ashley. Volunteering is a game changer especially if you start early. So by the time of the terrible teen years, it has the power to offset so much of the negativity they’re exposed to.

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