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I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day when she said, “you should teach families with busy schedules how to do service without it creating more to do.”
My mom has a really good point (she usually does). I remember growing up with three sisters and felt like we were always on the go. I was involved in 4-H, one sister did dance, and another did cheer. My parents also worked full-time and we were active in our church. There was not much time for us to really get involved in anything else.
But we were still committed to service and doing volunteer work in the community. Here are 7 ways we made it happen.
New here? I also have the following blog posts to help raise kids who R.O.C.K.
Busy Family Tip 1: Discuss it together
Your very first step is to sit down with your family for just a couple of minutes and talk about what everyone’s interest is in doing service or volunteer work. You want to have your children fully involved in the planning process and helping to make decisions.
If you want more information about this – check out my post on helping youth lead service projects.
Busy Family Tip 2: Pick something simple
Service does not have to be complicated. There are many small projects that you can incorporate in your day or on the weekend. Even during the Holiday season, there are easy things you can do as a family. I share all my ideas in our Ebook: Easy Holiday Service Projects for Families.
Busy Family Tip 3: Use a family planner
Place it somewhere that everyone can see. Then set a goal of doing one service project or volunteer effort once a month or once a quarter.
Check in at the beginning of the week so everyone is on the same page and there are no surprises about where each person will be and who is doing what.
Busy Family Tip 4: Double up with existing commitments
The biggest win for our family was that we were involved in that had service components built in. With dance, we did a lot of performances for community agencies and nonprofit organizations. It allowed us to interact with others while fulfilling what we already promised to do. I was involved in 4-H and organized service projects for our group AND my family joined it.
Busy Family Tip 5: Volunteer with Friends
Don’t give up on having a social life. Gather your friends together to volunteer. Then you are doing something good for the community and spending time.
Busy Family Tip 6: Do a Random Acts of Kindness Challenge
The great thing about Random Acts of Kindness is that you don’t have to plan anything in advance. If you are out shopping or picking up groceries, make it a part of your family time for each person to do something kind for a total stranger. This could be helping someone load their car, pushing all the stray shopping carts to the front of the store or giving a child quarters to use in the novelty toy machine (ask the parent if it is okay first).
Busy Family Tip 7: Do something while on vacation
Vacations are all about relaxing and spending time together. You can schedule one simple thing to do while on vacation – take donations to a shelter, spend 2-3 hours meal packaging, or help with a community garden.
Let me know which of these tips help you and your family! Make sure to share with other families that have busy schedules and you can do your volunteering together.