As parents, we want to teach our children the importance of serving others. Giving back to our community is important, and we want our children to realize how valuable it is to volunteer. The two greatest things we can teach our children is to love and to serve. Both of these can be done by volunteering as a family.
Local Animal Shelter
- Take up donations (see your local animal shelter for ideas about what may be needed)
- Go in for a day and walk the animals
- Volunteer to clean up pens
- Have a bake sale and donate the money
- Make treats for the animals.
- Work at an adopt a pet event
- Take up donations. Things that are usually needed include blankets, jackets, socks, etc. Check with your local shelter and see what their needs are.
- Host a canned food drive at your next homeschool event
- Make food baskets. These can be given to families when they leave the shelter.
- Make toiletry bags. These can include toothbrushes, toothpaste, a comb, and other hygiene items. Place items in pencil pouches and deliver them to the homeless shelter.
- Playing with the children
- Working fundraiser events
- Assist with basic maintenance of facility
- Help staff with landscaping of facility
- Taking up needed donations.
- Find/Recruit a “grand friend” at a nursing home or assisted living facility.
- Play card games with residents who maybe don’t have many visitors.
- Make cards during the holidays and deliver them to the residents. This can be done during and outside of the normal Christmas season, think Valentines Day, Grandparents Day and Veterans Day.
- Raise a service dog, typically a puppy training commitment of two years. There are many organizations out there.
- Certify your family dog as a therapy dog to volunteer in hospitals and schools.
- Many Salvation Army branches offer a wide variety of ways to volunteer. They assemble food baskets, serve meals to the needy in the community and collect donations for families in needs.
- The Red Cross offers their own branch of volunteer services for kids. Check out more information here.
- Be sure kids and parents have CPR/First Aid training so they can help with life-saving services if necessary.
Additional Ideas for Volunteering in Your Community
- Volunteer to deliver Meals on Wheels in your neighborhood, perfect for parent and young children.
- Grow vegetables and offer extra produce to people who don’t have space to garden.
- Have kids draw special pictures. Use these as wrapping paper, tucking inside them a piece of wrapped candy or silk flower, along with a note and hand them out to people in your community like a cashier, librarian or other community helpers.
- Let little kids offer popsicles to garbage truck workers
- Do errands, cook for or help out someone dealing with an illness
- Pick up litter in your neighborhood or wildlife area.
- Volunteer for your local community theater.
- Adopt a town monument and keep it clean.
- Make treats and deliver them to your local police or fire station.
- Volunteer as a family to help at aRonald McDonald House in your area.
- Organize to build a playground in your neighborhood.
There are so many ways homeschool families can give back to their community. Make a plan NOW to serve in your area. Build it into your homeschool day. Set aside a day every month to volunteer. Giving back to your community will fill you with joy and let others see the light of Christ in you.
Misty Bailey is a work at home homeschool mom to three active kids. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.