This summer my daughter turns fourteen. After her birthday, we can become volunteers at the Wildlife Care Center in Fort Lauderdale. Since she was a small child, we have donated goods to the Center every summer. Each year as school was winding down, we planned our summer ‘act of service’ and the Wildlife Care Center, which has taken in young birds and injured turtles we’ve found, has always been the recipient. This summer we can actually volunteer and spend time there together.
One suggestion in Whole Hearted Parenting’s book, 20 Steps to a Summer that Rocks!, is to plan an act of service each summer that you do together as a family. We all have the need to feel valuable, and acts of service are terrific ways for everyone in the family to feel valuable through contribution.
Your family’s act of service can be as simple as making a one-time donation such as our annual donation of paper towels, towels, toys and baby bottles. Even with a one-time gift, engage your child in choosing the organization and the items to donate from their wish list as well as in delivering them.
Ask your children to list organizations in the community that request donations or would like volunteer assistance. Have a family discussion about which ones appeal to each family member and why. Talk about the difference that your donation or time volunteering will make, both to the organization and to your family. Choose one or more and go for it!
Many organizations will have a needs list posted on their website or detailed in a newsletter. If you are unsure, give them a call.
For more ideas for creating a cooperative and connected summer, please we invite you to read 20 Steps to a Summer that Rocks!