Are you looking for some fun ways to get your family involved in the community? There are plenty of reasons to lend a hand. Being involved in your community can teach your kids values like empathy and compassion, and it creates a sense of well-being. It’s also an excellent way to help your family feel more united.
And best of all, getting your family involved in the community doesn’t have to involve a significant time investment. Here are some fun, high-impact ways to make a difference—without giving up all your free time in the process.
Volunteering is a tried and true way of giving back to the community. What makes volunteering attractive is that there are plenty of options, many of which you can do as a family. So, get everyone together and see what your family is interested in. Then, pick something important to you and develop a plan of action.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Reach out to local animal shelters to see if they need help
- Plant a community garden
- Clean up your neighbourhood, or better yet, organize a neighbourhood cleanup
- Contact your local library to see if they need help with administrative tasks or someone to read to children
- Host a garage sale and donate the proceeds to a charity, local school, or another organization of your choice
- Plan a kit packing event
If you’re looking for a low-effort way to regularly give back to your community, shop locally with your family.
Whenever possible, skip chain stores and support a small business owner in your town. For example, buy produce from farmer’s markets or new clothing at local clothing shops. You’ll be doing your part to help local business owners stay afloat, while also supporting your area’s economy. This practice also sets a good example for your children.
Giving blood is another excellent way to help those in need in your community. Donation is safe and easy, and organizations like the Red Cross are always in need. And if you have older children, it’s also something the whole family can do.
The age that a person must be in order to donate can vary based on a few factors, such as your location.
Donate Household Items
Not sure what to do with your children’s outgrown toddler clothing or that couch that no longer fits your home’s aesthetic? Help another family in need and donate these items to a local organization.
This idea is perfect for busy families without much time to volunteer. It’s easy to get everyone involved by having each family member go through their closet and part with items they no longer need.
Most donation centers are happy to accept things like clothes, coats, and shoes. You should also check with homeless organizations and animal shelters in your area to see what they need. You’d be surprised who can make use of your old things. Animal shelters, in particular, need unused pet supplies and towels.
Befriend the Elderly
While it may seem easier to befriend local neighbourhood kids, don’t forget about the elderly. Older adults often love the company of children and have a lot to teach them. Your child may even end up with a special friend for life.
It shouldn’t be hard to find a senior nearby to befriend. Once you do, check in on them periodically and help with things they might need. Brainstorm ideas with your children, which could be things that are age-appropriate for them. Some good examples are tasks like picking up groceries, taking out the trash, or doing yard work.
And remember, sometimes, even just stopping by for a chat with a senior makes all the difference.
Work With Local Schools
Many schools are understaffed and underfunded, and volunteers can help bridge the gaps. Reach out to one in your neighbourhood and see how you can assist.
Chances are there are plenty of extra jobs to go around. Something as simple as directing traffic at crosswalks or selling tickets at athletic events shows that you care about the well-being of students in your area. You can also volunteer to speak at career day or host a school supplies drive. And for those with more time, consider finding a student to mentor or becoming a tutor.
Volunteering at local schools with your family is a rewarding and easy way to make a direct impact on your community.
Support Your Local Food Bank
Did you know that roughly 17 million children struggle with hunger in the United States? Additionally, more than 2.7 million families have trouble putting food on the table. Hunger is not always an obvious problem, and these numbers have increased significantly since the start of the pandemic.
Do your part to help fight hunger in your area by supporting your local food bank or soup kitchen. These organizations always need volunteers to collect and sort food donations, which is something every family member can do. Soup kitchens also routinely need help handing out their food. Sometimes they’ll ask for volunteers to deliver food to people who are homebound.
Help a Neighbor
Foster a sense of community in your neighborhood by encouraging your kids to help a neighbor. There are practically endless options: babysitting, dog walking, lawn mowing, and cooking are just a few. Just be sure to match the neighbor’s needs with your child’s age for the best results.
Attend Local Events
Lastly, attending local events is another fun and easy way to give back. Pay attention to newspaper or radio announcements to find out what’s going on. Then, take the whole family to that summer concert in the park, art festival, or dance performance. You may even make some new friends!
We hope these fun ideas have inspired you and that you give them a try. You’ll make your home a better place while at the same time strengthening your family bond. And remember, imagination is the name of the game! There are plenty of innovative ways to get involved in your community with your family, so don’t be afraid to unleash your creativity.