As a parent or grandparent, you’re leading the next generation by example. They’re watching you, whether you realize it or not. Volunteering together is a great way to instill positive service habits into the lives of your children and grandchildren.
Most likely you serve because you want to make a difference in the lives of others. Perhaps someone gave the gift of service to you, and you want to give back. Maybe you recognize a need and want to fill the gap.
Serving others as a family has many benefits. Time spent together volunteering can open doors to valuable teachable moments, family memories, and traditions. Many families serve dinners at shelters during Thanksgiving as part of a tradition that spans generations.
As you explore the right volunteer opportunities for your family, consider the following:
- Make sure the program or organization you serve is aligned with your own family values.
- Discover what motivates, encourages, and inspires each family member and then choose something everyone can all be excited about.
- Make memories. Take pictures that tell the story of how you shared this experience and what made it important to each family member.
- Listen while you work. What are you learning? What are your children/grandchildren learning? Make a mental note and talk about these points when time allows.
- Learn together. Share with your children/grandchildren what you learned during this experience. Let your experiences build ideas and help you plan for new service projects in the future.
- Celebrate your accomplishments as a family, and thank each one for doing their part.