As brothers and sisters in Christ, we always want to do more for others. We may say, “I want to be more engaged in the community” or “I will try to volunteer this weekend,” but all of the good intentions fall short of getting placed into action. At the end of the week, all we want to do is sleep in and stay home. With stresses from the work week such as juggling kids, work, and everything in between, the last idea on your mind may be committing to another task, such as volunteer work and service projects. Life is tough, but others may be going through a much more difficult time than you. Instead of constantly pushing it aside week after week, now is the time to encourage yourself, as well as your family, to take an active place within your community.
There are many benefits of getting involved in your surrounding community. Lending a helping hand always makes you feel satisfied with yourself and encourages you to go back, especially when you are volunteering for an organization or a cause you feel strongly about. In addition, getting involved strengthens your community. By volunteering, you are planting a seed of love and change. People will witness and know there are people who genuinely care about others and are willing to take time out of their day to help. Your volunteerism will create a ripple, encouraging others to roll up their sleeves and get involved as well.
One of the most important benefits includes strengthening your family. Children will be shown a great example of being selfless and the importance of giving to others. Although donating money to charity and organizations is great, donating your time is much more valuable. You and your family get to physically see and engage with people who need help.
Here are some volunteer suggestions for you and your family to be a part of:
Volunteer at Church. Not only is your local church a great place to start volunteering, but they more than likely have a large amount of resources for you to access, in regards to what local faith-based organizations accept volunteers.
Pet Organizations. Who doesn’t love furry animals? Local shelters and animal hospitals are always excited to have extra hands to help. Helping to socialize puppies, take them for walk, and bathe them are great ways for the kids to get involved. Plus, it teaches them the responsibility that comes along with having a pet.
Local Parks. Our kids enjoy visiting the park and don’t realize the effort placed into keeping our parks clean and beautiful. By volunteering at a park, you and your children will be provided the opportunity to clean graffiti, plant trees, and pick up litter.
Local Shelters. We recommend involving your teens to help local homeless shelters with tasks such as serving meals or cleaning. Although some people may feel uncomfortable volunteering in homeless shelters, it is a great opportunity for you and your family (especially teens) to see there are others less fortunate and to be reminded of how blessed you are.
Whatever you choose, do it as a family! Make sure to contact the organization you'd like to volunteer with to schedule your visit and ask if there are age restrictions for volunteers.
Reflect on this scripture verse with your family:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." - Matthew 5:16
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