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Family Volunteering- More than just service

Looking for an activity your whole family will enjoy? Volunteering can be a dynamic, rewarding way to bring everyone together. Whether you’re organizing a food or clothing drive or cleaning up a street or a river, volunteering as a family amplifies your impact on the cause—and gives you some quality time together. Service can get everyone thinking positively and prioritizing what’s important. Plus, you’ll make some great memories!

What’s right for your family?
Start with a family conversation so everyone can weigh in on the idea. Ask what cause or event everyone is interested in and can agree on. The more the family is amped up about a cause, the more rewarding the experience will be.

It’s challenging to juggle the work, errands and social life of one person’s calendar, so coordinating the schedules of an entire family can seem nearly impossible! Be realistic about what you can give and when the whole family will be able to join. Check with Volunteer Thurston to see if weekend or evening help is needed.

Volunteering together could be just what the doctor ordered for hectic family lives. It’s like hitting the pause button: You’re together and engaging with others, feeling energized—and everyone’s focused on the same goal of doing good.

Once you agree on a cause and amount of time you’re able to dedicate, you’re ready to see what’s out there!

Everyone’s invited
Get the whole family involved—children, grandparents, maybe even the dog! Everyone has something distinct to offer.

And what better way to teach your kids or grandkids about the true meaning of giving than to do it with them? If you already give your time, bring them along on your next volunteering project—or ask them what’s important to them and let them choose.

From small to large, there are countless project opportunities to connect with. Here are two that are actively seeking volunteers now:

  • The South Sound Reading Foundation is always looking for new and used children's books to give to children in need in Thurston and Mason counties. Any size donation is welcome, and we would be happy to help coordinate a larger book drive with your group or organization.
  • Earth Day 2017 Volunteer Event and Student Challenge on April 22. Join together with hundreds of volunteers to restore our parks and trails in Thurston County. Register with Olympia, Lacey or Tumwater Parks and Recreation.

Not old enough? Not a problem!
Many places like shelters, halfway houses or other groups may have age restrictions on who can come help. Don’t let that stop you and your young ones from doing good!

If you want to help serve food with the kids at a homeless shelter, and there’s an age restriction, just ask the shelter what your options are. Chances are there’s still a way to give back. For example, some shelters may allow you to make food in bulk at home ahead of time and drop it off. This lets even the little ones get in on the volunteering action.

Children can also get involved—and learn the value of volunteering—at an early age by donating toys, books and school supplies they’ve outgrown. Talk with them about what it means to give away their old things and how another child’s life could be improved. Then, actively engage them in organizing a book, toy or school supply drive. You’ll be surprised by just how much project management the kids have in them!

About Volunteer Thurston

Volunteer Thurston is a web site operated by the United Way of Thurston County and the place to go if you want to lend a hand to make a difference in our community.  The site enables nonprofit and governmental organizations a place to post volunteer opportunities and community events.  It is Thurston County’s one-stop shop for civic engagement.   http://getconnected.unitedway-thurston.org/