Volunteering is a great way to bond and have fun with your children, as well as a powerful way to guide them with a sense of gratitude and appreciation.
What better way to create connections with your children than to to work towards a common goal together- so volunteer in a community project and work together.
Through volunteering, you will have shared common goals to work towards, and you discuss things and communicate at the same time. On top of that, volunteering is a way to guide our children to a sense of gratitude, a way of being appreciative and giving back to the community.
How to volunteer?
- Through your local community, such as the local Salvation Army store, Red Cross Door Knock Appeal etc
- Students can volunteer through their local schools, such as fundraising for Bandaged Bear Day, Daffodil Day and Pink Ribbon Day and others
- Parents can help with the schools, such as P & C, canteen or school shops,
- Or through the local council such as Meals on Wheels
- And many more…..
Example 1: Dog Walking
My daughter loves dogs and animals… We do not have dogs in our home for various reasons. She did some research and got me to drive her to Monika’s Doggie Rescue every Sunday to help walk the dogs. So we put aside 2-3 hours most Sundays to volunteer at the Doggie Rescue.
When we arrive, we will sign in and let the other volunteers know we are there to walk the dogs. They will fetch us two lucky dogs for us to take for a run/walk for about 45 minutes…and we give the dogs cuddles, running games and heaps of TLC.
What do we gain from walking the dogs?
- It is FREE apart from our time and the petrol cost.
- We are doing something we really enjoy, thus enhancing our bonding – this is a great time for a good chat as well.
- Give those dogs a good walk and some TLC; they really need that.
- My daughter learns the value of giving and community spirit.
- Most of all, we have FUN and feel really great about it.
- Plus while having fun, it is really a good way to exercise and stay fit.
Example 2: Build a House for a disadvantaged community
Another example is my son’s school arranging work overseas. The school organised a trip to Fiji after the HSC, for the students to help build a house for the community, as an alternate to schoolies. The students turned up every morning for a week to help build a house….It was an amazing experience for the students, as they actually were responsible for building a house for one lucky family there. It was very hard work for those who were not used to hard labour, but the group had a great time, witnessing their house come to life every day. The students learnt about team work and shared the community spirit .
The students now know how they have helped a family to have their own home, plus know about a different culture and food. My son could talk about the experience constantly and the trip still brings a smile to his face every time we mention it. Plus they formed a strong bond among the friends who went to Fiji.
So the advantages are:
- They are doing something wonderful for the community.
- They understand a different culture.
- They learn about values that could assist them in the future.
- They create the connections and bonding among friends through this shared experience.
What are the benefits of volunteering?
- It helps to instill a community spirit, by building connections within the community.
- Children feel good about themselves, as they can see the difference they are making.
- Children learn new skills as well.
- Friendship and Belonging. Some people make lifelong friendships through volunteering and form a real bond of togetherness.
Hope this segment will encourage all of you to think of volunteering as a fantastic way to create connections – not only with your children but with your community as well.
Have a fun and connected day with your family!