Let’s say you love animals and want to volunteer your time helping abandoned pets in your community. Or, you’re looking for a way to give back this holiday weekend, to recognize the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. In seconds you can have a list of options, as The Huffington Post reports in “13 Websites That Will Match You With The Perfect Opportunity To Make A Difference.”
Volunteerism and community engagement are critical components of our family life. Service experiences promote learning through active participation, provide structured time for all members of our family to reflect, create opportunities to use skills and knowledge in real-life situations, extend learning beyond the classroom and foster a sense of caring for others.
My husband and I are training our children to serve others thoughtfully by making it a priority to serve together. It’s challenging to find a place to serve together in our rural area, so we have worked to design service projects that we can do as a family. And the projects have happened in many shapes and sizes over the years!
The holiday season is filled with opportunities for children to be caring and compassionate. And for parents, it starts with showing your kids how it’s done! Let your children see you helping elderly neighbors rake their leaves, being kind to those around you in crowded stores, collecting canned goods for the hungry.