OT: 8 Cool Community Service Projects Families Can Do Together
by Mary Fischer
Between work, school, and all of our kids' extracurricular activities, it can be tough to find a few minutes of quality time to spend together as a family. And when we do have an unscheduled hour or two here and there, a lot of us tend to go in different directions rather than the whole family actually doing one thing together.
But there is one great way to get the whole gang together to not only enjoy each other's company, but also to make a difference in the lives of people in your own community.
Come on, don't all parents want to teach their kids how to give back and brighten someone else's day?
Here are eight cool community service projects the whole family can get involved in for some "quality" time you'll never forget.
- Put together a food drive -- Make a flyer to stick in your neighbors' mailboxes telling them you and your family are collecting canned goods to take to the local food pantry. Give them a date to set bags of food out by their garages so you can collect them. Deliver them to the food pantry as a family and watch your kids' faces light up knowing they're helping those less fortunate.
- Volunteer at an animal shelter -- The whole family will love playing with and tending to cats and dogs who don't have a place to call home. And who knows, you just might find a new unexpected member of the family at the end of the day.
- Visit a local nursing home -- Simply sit and talk to the residents, organize a game of bingo, or even play a few hands of cards. You'll make their day, and your family will feel even more rewarded.
- Do a family clothing/toy drive -- This is a great way to clean out your closets and playroom while teaching your kids how to give to those less fortunate. Have each family member go through and pick out things they don't want or need anymore. Compile everything together and then take it to your local Goodwill.
- Clean up! -- Devote an afternoon to picking up trash at the park or even around your neighborhood. You'll help the environment and make the world a prettier place.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen -- After spending the day serving food to those who don't always know where their next meal is coming from, your kids will gain a new sense of appreciation for just how lucky they are to have dinner on the table every night.
- Organize a coat drive -- This is a great way to get your child's school involved in helping your family do something to help others. Have your kids spread the word that they are collecting coats for those in need. Set a range of time for when you'll be accepting donations, and then deliver the coats to a homeless shelter on a Saturday when the whole family is around.
- Plant a tree -- It sounds so simple, but by planting trees or a community garden, you not only give your neighbors something beautiful to look at -- you also help the environment.
What types of community service projects do you like to do as a family?