Getting involved in something bigger than ourselves, something that we are able to make a real difference in, is an enriching experience. Giving service helps the cause we are fighting for and simultaneously lifts us as individuals, families, communities, and even the world at large.
Nonprofit organizations, service trips, community projects, local volunteering—service opportunities are all around us.
So how can we incorporate the causes we care about into our lives, and our children’s lives? Where is the best place to start?
Here are five things you can try: seek opportunities, join service trips, volunteer in your community, donate to causes you care about, and spread awareness.
1. Seek Opportunities
Service begins with YOU!
Whether it’s fundraising for schools, cleaning up litter, or mentoring orphans, there will always be causes that need your family’s involvement.
The first step to doing any kind of service work is to pick a cause that you care about or are curious about, and then seek opportunities in that field. A good starting point is the Just Serve website. Or check out A Child’s Hope’s project tiles!
2. Join Service Trips
GO BIG with your service!
There are numerous ways to serve, but one of the most rewarding ways we’ve seen for individuals and families to connect with those they help is by joining a service trip abroad. For example, volunteers with A Child’s Hope can travel for a week or more to orphanages in other countries. We do construction and service projects in the morning, and play with the children in the afternoons, becoming their proxy cousins, aunts and uncles. These trips are especially great for families!
You can learn more about these opportunities under the Get Involved tab on our website.
3. Volunteer In Your Community
Simple acts matter too!
When you start looking, you’ll find plenty of service opportunities close to home.
Nurture and Thrive blog has some easy ideas for your kiddos, such as:
- Make kind bookmarks to share.
- Help a neighbor clean up their leaves or snow.
- Make rainbow crayons to sell for a cause.
- Create love bugs and share.
Teens and adults might deliver groceries for those in need or tutor elementary school children. Good Housekeeping has a list full of ideas, including:
- Tend to a neighborhood garden.
- Be a “grand-friend” to a senior in your area.
- Host a bake sale or hot chocolate stand for a special cause.
- Create craft kits or activity sets for kids in hospitals or homeless shelters.
Your neighbors, teachers, and friends probably have something they need help with. Serving the people in your personal life is equally as important as getting involved with a service organization. Simple acts like sending a thank you note or inviting someone to dinner matter a lot!
Money and goods go a long way.
When you donate to any nonprofit, it is important to do some research and know exactly what it is you are giving to. Websites such as Guidestar rate the transparency of charities. Some include nonprofits’ annual IRS filings so you can see what percentage of donations goes to programs as opposed to fundraising or operations.
At A Child’s Hope, two generous donors who cover our operations have made it possible for 100% of your donations go directly to helping the orphans. We are also transparent about our work so that you can see the huge impact your donations have. You can view our most recent annual report here.
5. Stay Updated, Spread Awareness
Share your experience!
Word of mouth is a powerful tool in helping more people join great causes. There are many ways to do this, such as following your favorite organizations on social media, subscribing to their newsletters or emails, and looking out for future events to attend. Posting photos of your children engaged in service and sharing all the ways it’s impacted your family is another great way to increase awareness!
When you tell others how service has impacted your life, they will want to learn and get involved too! So share the good you are doing and spread awareness widely.
6-Week Service Challenge
Doing work that brings more good into the world is what service is all about. We hope you will find ways to serve that are meaningful to you and will build great family memories in the process.
For weekly service prompts that can get you and your family started on a life filled with service, join our 6-Week Service Challenge by signing up below.