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It’s that time of year again when most parents wave goodbye to their kids as they board the yellow bus to be molded into educated little young ladies and gents. We just wanted to give you relieved ‘rents a reminder that the learning at home doesn’t stop just because the school year started. 😉

One of the best life lessons for kids to learn is the importance of giving back to the community. We believe it’s never too early to learn the value of volunteering, but getting started can be the hardest part. To help you get the ball rolling and find the activity that’s right for you and your family, we have created a list of tips for family volunteering.

  1. Find What Inspires You: The best volunteer experiences are ones that you’re passionate about. Check out www.volunteermatch.org, which brings good people & good causes together. Find a cause that lights you up and get in touch with a nonprofit that needs you.
  2. Volunteer as a group: Nervous to do it alone? Get your friends or family together and create lasting memories that truly make a difference. Serve Thanksgiving dinner at the local soup kitchen before your own family turkey day traditions. The family will feel proud and appreciate your meal all the more.
  3. Donate Your Skills: Someone in your family has a special skill or talent, so use it in your volunteer efforts. If you play football, coach a youth league and let your kids play. If you love to read, volunteer with a public library. If you work in marketing, help a nonprofit with its social media. Someone out there needs your brain!
  4. Don’t over-schedule: Make sure you choose something that fits with your family’s already busy schedule but still benefits the organization. It’s always better to start out slowly than to commit yourself to an opportunity you can’t fulfill. Once you commit, people depend on you and it’s always disappointing to back out!

Remember, even the smallest acts of kindness make a difference. Think about having your kids help a senior neighbor do yard work or grocery shop. Let their entrepreneurial spirit shine by collecting old clothing for a local shelter or raising funds through a bake sale, bottle drive, or lemonade stand.

Ready to get out there and make a difference? Let us know how you’re getting involved in the comments below.