Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Family Volunteer Opportunities Work


Volunteering as a family is a great way to set a positive example for your children as you work side-by-side to improve the lives of others.
Volunteering as a family is a great way to set a positive example for your children as you work side-by-side to improve the lives of others.
Yellow Dog Productions/Lifesize/Getty Images

You don't have to be a child psychologist to know that family time is important to child development, but even one-night excursions are becoming over budget for many families in today's faltering economy.

As the costs of traveling continue to climb, family outings have been pushed to the back of people's family planners. The cost of gas prices alone has stopped some families from going on their annual camping or RV outings. However, there is a simple solution to your money woes: group volunteering.

Volunteering as a family is a (nearly) free way to feed your craving for quality family time, while also contributing to your local community. It's a win-win situation not only for your family, but for the families you help as well. And what better way to instill family values in your children than by setting a positive example as you work side-by-side to improve the lives of others?

The ways you can contribute to your community range from one-time donation activities such as walkathons, food or clothing drives, to more long-term, hands-on experiences like community gardening, adopt-a-family programs or serving in soup kitchens. The key to selecting the "right" activity is determining the skill-sets of each family member and finding a volunteer solution that matches those skills.

This article will outline a few of the factors to consider when searching for a suitable volunteering opportunity for you and your children. And later on, this article will give you a glimpse of the many benefits that come from volunteer work.

To start, you will need to consider the abilities of your family members, and the requirements for the volunteering activities you're interested in doing. See the next page for suggestions on how to meet your family's volunteering match.