Volunteering as a family (and how to start in Victoria)

Do you volunteer as a family? Are you curious about how to involve your child in helping out, or giving back?

The post below originally appeared in the HandsOn Blog on March 15th 2011. It is a great intro to volunteering as a family, and they were generous in their permission for us to re-post for your reading pleasure!

If you are curious about where to start volunteering as a family in Victoria, read on to the bottom, or please share your experiences and insights through the comments!

9 Reasons to Volunteer as a Family

Posted by HandsOn Network

According to The Civic and Political Health of the Nation: A Generational Portrait, young people who are raised in homes that family members who volunteer are involved in civic and political activity from volunteering to campaigning for a cause. Adult volunteers in a home can inspire young people to volunteer either on their own or as part of group.

Volunteering as a family can show the younger members of the family the importance of being engaged in the community, and can have a number of benefits for the family.

  • volunteer, volunteering, family volunteeringFamily volunteering can bring the family closer together. Family volunteering provides a shared experience that can help to build and strengthen family bonds.
  • Values are strengthened by volunteering. Family volunteering gives parents the opportunity to model behavior that they are trying to instill in their children.
  • Volunteering as a family can provide self-satisfaction. When everyone in the family is working towards a common goal at their volunteer event, it can provide a sense of self–satisfaction to everyone involved.
  • Strength in numbers. When a family volunteers together, even the littlest hands can make big tasks easier. Families that volunteer together can get more done together than an individual working alone.
  • Benefits to youth. Youth who volunteer frequently can benefit from their family volunteer experiences when applying for jobs or college.
  • Children see another side of life. Children that volunteer outside of their home and neighborhood get to see a different part of life than they normally see.
  • Having a positive impact. Families that volunteer together get to see the positive impact that they have by volunteering when they reflect on their volunteer experience together.
  • Family volunteering is fun! Volunteering as a family can be a social experience and give everyone an experience that is outside of their day-to-day life of work and school.

There are a host of benefits that families who volunteer together gain from the experience. There are some costs to family, such as adding stress to family life, but in Family Volunteering: An Exploratory Study on the Impact of Families, only about 25% of families that volunteer agreed that volunteering makes their life more hectic. The benefits of volunteering as a family seem to outweigh the potential costs.

Volunteer opportunities in Victoria

Check out the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre for volunteering as a family. Or Selkirk Place, a senior’s residence. Want to connect with a family new to Victoria? Check out the VIRCS’ Family Friendship Program. Like being outdoors? Try Haliburton Community Organic Farm Society, or Woodwynn Farms.

The list goes on! Check out our database ,  or send us an email for more ideas. If you’re already volunteering as a family, let us know what you’ve been doing!

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