Cindy Laquidara is a lawyer based in Jacksonville, Florida. She is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in City, County & Local Government Law.

Doing Community Service As A Family: 5 Ways To Give Back

boy-1300136_960_720If you have kids, it’s a good idea teach them the importance of giving back to their community early on. Giving back as a family is a great way to bond with one another while also doing good things for your community. Here are a few community service activities that the family can do together.

1) Donate your belongings

One of the easiest ways to give back is to donate your belongings that you no longer need. Create regular times for your family to sort out clothes, games, books, and toys. Figure out what could be given to someone in need. Then research where you can donate them. From Toys For Tots to Big Brothers Big Sisters, there are many organizations that collect items for children in need. There are also organization that collect items for veterans and for abandoned animals. Make it a family activity to discuss where you would like the items to go and then donate them. It will feel much more rewarding than throwing the items away.

2) Adopt a family

There are a lot of ways to help out families in need. You can search through your local homeless shelter, church, temple or United Way to find Adopt-a-Family programs. You can set up a Giving Tree Sign-Up sheet to invite your friends, extended family, neighbors and to contribute. Your children can even invite their classmates. Any family in need would be thrilled to have your help.

3) Celebrate National Family Volunteer Day

Giving back with your family is such a worthwhile activity that there’s a national day dedicated to it. This day occurs the weekend before Thanksgiving, and it’s a great way to get everyone feeling truly thankful for what they have. On National Family Volunteer Day, there are events held all throughout the country inviting families to give back to their communities. You can learn about these event by visiting the Points of Light Foundation or your local United Way.

4) Help out your neighbors

It is a great idea to surprise someone else living on your street with a good deed. You can rake leaves or shovel snow at a neighbor’s house, or you can cook a warm meal for a neighbor. This is an especially helpful thing to do for elderly neighbors, new moms, or anyone who clearly has a lot on their plate. If it’s the holiday season, you can even go caroling at a neighbor’s home to spread holiday cheer.

5) Join a community race

If you’ve got an athletic family, why not exercise together while doing something good for your community? If you’re not into running, get involved in a walkathon. There are a number of races and walkathons that contribute to important charities. Decide as a family which charity you would like to support and sign up. This is a fantastic way to improve your fitness while giving back to your community.
Giving back to your community and bonding with your family are both very beneficial things to do, so why not combine the two? Helping out your community with your family is sure to be a rewarding experience that brings your family closer together.