Community is important. In order to truly be part of the community you live in, you must be active in it. One way to do so is looking for volunteer opportunities in your community. If you want things to change in the town or city you live in, you need to get out and be part of making that change. The world we live in today is greatly one of our own making. Issues continue and flourish when there aren’t any oppositions standing up to and against them. As parents, we need to be active in finding volunteer opportunities so that our children learn why volunteering is important to our communities.
When my children were young it was challenging to find the time and volunteer opportunities in our community. However, it was important to me for them to learn to give back. So, we started by volunteering to clean monthly at our local church. My children swept, dusted and mopped our church at a very young age. From there we added our local food bank, humane society, and library to our volunteering.
As with anything, getting started is the hardest part. Sometimes as a homeschool mom it is easier to just stay home with the kids. After all, keeping up with housework and homeschooling is challenging enough. Yet, our children miss out on the benefits of volunteering and the beauty of community when we do so. Volunteer opportunities abound, we just have to look for the right ones for us and our families.
The Greatest Benefits of Volunteering
- There are people in your community that are in need. More than likely some of them are people you know. When you volunteer your time and talents, you’ll be making a difference in the lives of others.
- When you get out into your community, you become the hands and feet of Christ. You choose to become a servant, following the greatest example of all, Jesus.
- Aside from benefitting the community you live in and the people in your community, volunteering also benefits your children’s education. This is especially true if your high schoolers plan to go on to college or intern after graduating high school.
Getting started with volunteering is easy after you’ve determined the best place for you and your family to serve your community. The opportunities for giving your time and talents are out there, but having an idea of places to start looking into helps.
11 Volunteer Opportunities for Homeschool Families
My children started helping me volunteer to put books away when they were 8 and 10 years old. Now that my daughter is 13, she is volunteering at the library on her own. The children’s librarian has taught her how to check books in and out, she helps with story hour, and she puts books away as well.
- Local Non-Profit Organizations
Currently, my son is volunteering at our local ski mountain. He helps with the rentals and is learning how to do boot and pole sizing. He loves to ski, so this is a great opportunity for him to learn about the operation of a ski mountain.
This is one of the easiest places to start volunteering. There are always opportunities to volunteer at church, even for the littlest ones. Putting away hymnals, cleaning as a family, helping in the nursery, or working the soundboard as a teenager — all of these are helpful volunteer activities.
- Soup Kitchen
Many community churches have a soup kitchen operating either weekly or monthly in the winter months. Homeless people are often out in the cold without anything to warm them. This is an amazing opportunity for your children to volunteer and learn important life lessons on thankfulness.
Volunteering at your local hospital can include being a clown bringing laughter to kids’ days, making pillows or head coverings for ill patients, providing musical entertainment, delivery meals and more.
- Animal Shelter
My daughter loves animals. If she could rescue and save every hurting animal in the world she would. Her passion for cuddly creators is what drew us into volunteering to walk new arrivals and snuggle cats at our local humane society when my children were young.
- Fire Department
Many fire departments have junior firefighter programs. While your teens may not be allowed to go out on calls, they can help with answering phones during emergency situations, learn about and help clean and organize equipment, and more.
- Food Bank
I mentioned earlier that there are people you know from your community who need help, but you just don’t know it. I discovered this truth when my children and I were volunteering at our local food bank. A mom from the daycare my kids attended when I worked full time outside the home came in one night. I was not expecting to see her, nor she, me. That moment is when the importance of volunteering in the community became a reality for me.
There are times in our lives when everyone out of the house isn’t possible That is ok. You can still volunteer in your community. Just look across the street or take a walk next door. There are yards that need to be raked, gardens that need weeding, pets that need attention. All of which you can likely do without leaving your neighborhood.
- Nursing Homes
Growing up, my family used to volunteer at our local nursing home as part of our church. We would go on Sunday afternoons to sing and visit with the residents. I have never seen a more grateful group of people in my life. Children bring a smile to their faces and joy to their hearts — it reminds them of when they were young. And so many have families that never visit, so your children can become like “adopted” grandchildren to some residents and receive as much love as they give.
- Roadside Cleanup
My children and I like to take walks. This is a great way to get one on one time with each of your kids! While we walk, we take time to clean up the garbage off the side of the road. This is a simple way for us to give back to our community without anyone really knowing about it.
This is not a complete list of all volunteer opportunities in a community. There are likely more options than what I have listed. It is my hope and prayer that this will be a springboard for you and your family to research and brainstorm the volunteering options in your own community. By giving of ourselves we not only are a blessing, but we become blessed.
Where do you and/or your kids volunteer in your community?
Misty is a Daughter of THE King, Texas girl, Navy brat at heart, loving Fisherman’s wife, blessed homeschooling mother of 2, founder of Year Round Homeschooling and author of Beautiful Ashes. She is passionate about being real through every stage of life and encouraging homeschool moms throughout their homeschool journey. Her heart is full of ideas and passions, but the hours in her day never multiply to get it all done. Misty enjoys reading, music and essential oils in her spare time. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.