This is a sponsored post in partnership with Disney and GenerationOn.
Kids learn by example and one of my jobs as a parent is to model good behavior for them to follow. As parents, we are our kids first role models. I see it with my toddler on a daily basis and even still with my tween. They follow our example and our lead on just about everything. One thing I wanted to instill in both my kids from an early age was giving back. We’re very fortunate but there are so many others who are not, and I want my kids to experience first hand the benefits of service to others. Getting the kids involved on Family Volunteer Day is a great way to teach kids the importance of giving back.
Family Volunteer Day is a global day of service created to encourage families to volunteer together in support of their neighborhoods and communities — not only on the day of the event, but also throughout the holiday season and every day during the year.
Sponsored by Disney and generationOn, Family Volunteer Day occurs annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It’s a great reminder as we get ready to celebrate everything we are thankful for, others could use our help. This year, Family Volunteer Day is November 18.
Planning a service project is a great way for families with volunteer opportunities to experience the benefits of service to others.
Visit GenerationOn.org and search the Family Volunteer Day page, there you can volunteer through local service projects in your own neighborhood or find more than 100 DIY projects.
Having the family time together brainstorming ideas and ways to give back makes my mama heart swell. Seeing the kids, even my little one, get interested and want to help is priceless. If you’re looking for some ways to get involved and give back this year on Family Volunteer Day, here are some ideas to get you started.
ORGANIZE A FOOD DRIVE
No family should ever go hungry or worry about where their next meal is going to come from. Unfortunately, that is a reality for way to many people and now more than ever food pantries and food banks are in need of healthy meals. Reach out to friends, family, neighbors and even co-workers. Let them know the kid are organizing a food drive to benefit the local food bank and collect as much as you can. Set a date you need donations by, create a flyer (this is a great task for older kids), have the kids sort the donations as they come in and take them with you when you deliver them. The sense of pride they’ll have for organizing, collecting and dropping off the food is something they won’t forget anytime soon.
This is the project my kids picked. My oldest designed and made the flyer and we passed it our to friends, family and neighrbors. People have been dropping off donations and as things come in, he has Evie help him sort it in to boxes.
VOLUNTEER AT YOUR LOCAL FOOD BANK
Depending on the age of your kids and the rules at the food bank, find out where you can help. When my son was in Cub Scouts, he helped organize many food drives and collections and he looked forward to our weekly visit
MAKE PET TOYS FOR YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER
We’re in the process of adopting a kitten to join our family and have been spending some time at our local animal shelter. Animal shelters are always in need of donations and making some DIY cat toys are easy way for all the kids to help. You could do the same for dogs too.
COLLECT PJ’S FOR KIDS IN FOSTER CARE
Reach out to family, friends and neighbors to collect new, unused PJ’s for kids in shelters or foster care. Folle the same plan as the food drive above and have older kids help make a flyer, share them and have all the kids collect, sort and deliver.
CREATE CARDS FOR YOUR LOCAL NURSING HOME
Kids of all ages love to get creative. Create cards for a local nursing home and then deliver them. Have the kids pass them out to the residents and watch the smiles they collect.
COLLECT NEW, UNWRAPPED TOYS FOR A LOCAL TOY DRIVE
Reach out to family, friends and neighbors to collect new, unused toys for kids this holiday season. Follow the same plan as the food drive above and have older kids help make a flyer, share them and have all the kids collect, sort and deliver. Places like Toys for Tots and even your local police department have collections during the holidays.
ORGANIZE A COAT DRIVE FOR A LOCAL HOMELESS SHELTER
Reach out to family, friends and neighbors to collect used coats, hats and gloves for your local homesless shelter. The kids can collect the coats, hats, etc. and sort them for delivery.
CREATE PERSONAL CARE KITS
Maybe you have lots of travel sized soaps, shampoos and personal care prodcuts hanging around. Grab them, pick up some travel sized toothbrushes and toothpaste and put together mini personal care kits for your local homesless shelters.
HELP A LOCAL FAMILY OR NEIGHBOR
Maybe you know a local family down on their luck or an elderly neighbor who could use some help around the house. Rake their leaves, shovel the snow, take out their trash. See where they need help and get to work.
PUT TOGETHER ACTIVITY BOXES
Assemble activity boxes for your local children’s hospital, women’s shelter for kids. Fill them with crayons, coloring books, puzzles and anything else you can think of to but a smile on someone’s face.