Family Volunteering: Benefits & How to Get Involved

Dec 04, 2023

by United Way NCA

What Is Family Volunteering?

Family volunteering is a type of all-ages group volunteering that can include any type of family members and relationships. Whether it’s parents, grandparents, cousins and / or children volunteering together, any relatives who choose to volunteer together are family volunteering.

Benefits of Volunteering as a Family

Family volunteering offers a multitude of rewards, spanning from building confidence and creating lasting habits to fostering stronger bonds and even potentially extending one’s lifespan. Here are several compelling benefits that come from engaging in volunteer work as a family:

  • Build up confidence and self-esteem: Family volunteering provides a platform for individuals to contribute meaningfully, fostering a sense of accomplishment and worth. Working together in charitable activities often bolsters one’s confidence by showcasing the positive impact they can make within their community.
  • Spend quality time with your family: Volunteering as a family creates invaluable bonding moments, allowing members to connect deeply while working towards a common goal. These shared experiences in service cultivate stronger relationships and lasting memories.
  • Creates a consistent habit: Engaging in regular volunteer activities as a family instills a sense of routine and commitment. This habit formation not only benefits the communities being served but also encourages a culture of giving and empathy within the family unit.
  • Helps you live longer: Studies indicate that volunteering is associated with improved mental and physical health, potentially leading to a longer life. Engaging in altruistic acts as a family not only strengthens relationships but also contributes to overall well-being, leading to a healthier, longer life.
  • Lifelong benefits for teens and kids: Family volunteering lays the groundwork for children and teens to develop empathy, compassion, and a sense of social responsibility. These values are likely to stay with them throughout their lives, shaping them into conscientious and engaged members of society.

Age-Appropriate Volunteer Opportunities for Kids

At United Way NCA, we believe in the power of volunteerism to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need, especially low-income households. It’s never too early to instill values of empathy, compassion, and social responsibility in children. We offer age-appropriate volunteering opportunities that align with our mission to support vulnerable families. Here are some suggestions:

Preschoolers (Ages 3-5)

Preschoolers are naturally compassionate and eager to help. Age-appropriate volunteering activities for them often involve simple, hands-on tasks that promote kindness and cooperation. Consider opportunities such as:

  • Creating artwork or handmade cards to personalize essential needs kits.
  • Assisting in sorting and organizing donated clothing and toys for families in need.
  • Participating in small fundraising efforts like a lemonade stand, with proceeds going toward community initiatives.

Elementary Schoolers (Ages 6-11)

As children enter elementary school, they can engage in more diverse volunteering experiences that directly benefit those in need.

  • Participating in food drives by collecting non-perishable items to help stock the shelves of local food banks.
  • Volunteering at community centers or assisting with after-school programs.
  • Joining charity fun runs or walks that raise funds for critical services in the community.

Middle Schoolers and Teens (Ages 12-18)

Older children and teenagers can take on more substantial roles in volunteer work, contributing to initiatives that address the specific needs of ALICE households. These opportunities can help them develop leadership skills and a deeper sense of social responsibility.

  • Mentoring younger children from low-income backgrounds through after-school programs or tutoring in subjects they excel in.
  • Volunteering at local shelters and soup kitchens to serve meals and provide support to individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • Organizing and participating in fundraising events or charity drives within their school or community to support our initiatives aimed at assisting ALICE community members.

Parental Involvement

For all age groups, parental involvement and supervision are vital when volunteering to support low-income households. Parents can guide and support their children in understanding the impact of their actions and the importance of giving back to those less fortunate.

Volunteer As A Family With United Way NCA

Discover a world of meaningful connections and shared experiences with our diverse range of family volunteering opportunities in the vibrant DMV area. At United Way NCA, we’re committed to creating impactful moments for families, where every member can contribute to our community while fostering lasting bonds within their own kin.

Some of our opportunities include:

Writing Encouragement Cards

Creating encouragement cards as a family volunteering activity is a beautiful way to spread positivity and kindness. It allows every member, regardless of age, to participate in a heartfelt gesture that can brighten someone’s day, fostering empathy and connection within the family while making a meaningful impact in the lives of others.

Essential Needs Kit-Packing

Packaging essential needs kits as a family volunteering activity not only provides tangible support to those in need but also cultivates a sense of unity and purpose within the family unit. Collaborating to assemble these kits, from meals and hygiene items to cold-weather essentials, instills empathy and a shared commitment to improving the lives of others, fostering a sense of fulfillment and solidarity among family members.

Our Annual Events

From Stuff the Bus to Project Community Connect, our signature annual events can help you find places to plug into your community during any time of the year. Check out our complete signature event page to see what we do throughout the year.

Family Volunteer Today with United Way NCA

At United Way NCA, we celebrate the transformative power of family engagement in volunteerism. Check out our volunteering opportunities today to get your family plugged in.

Each shared moment, whether packing essential kits, crafting encouragement cards, or joining hands in community service, not only enriches the lives of those we aim to assist but also strengthens the familial bonds and values that form the foundation of our society. Through these opportunities, families not only give back but also grow together, fostering a legacy of compassion, empathy, and unity that extends far beyond the realms of service.

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