Connect through volunteering

By Tim Emmons

With the way life seems to be dragging families in several different directions and purely wearing each member down it’s easy to feel disconnected. 
Living in our neck of the woods isn’t easy when you’re looking to connect with your children in more ways than one.
We find ourselves driving elsewhere to find a fun connection with our children, but there is a way you can make a family connection even in Cass County.
One of the most satisfying, fun, and productive ways to unite is volunteering for community service projects. Volunteering also sets a good example for your kids and helps the community.
When we make service work a normal part of our lives we don’t simply teach our children strong core values, we demonstrate these values in action.
of Volunteering
The satisfaction and pride that come from helping others are important reasons to volunteer. When you commit your time and effort to an organization or a cause you feel strongly about, the feeling of fulfillment can be endless.
What Kids Can Learn From Volunteering
If volunteering begins at an early age, it can become part of kids’ lives — something they might just expect and want to do.
It can teach them a sense of responsibility. By volunteering, kids and teens learn what it means to make and keep a commitment. They learn how to be on time for a job, do their best, and be proud of the results. But they also learn that, ultimately, we’re all responsible for the well-being of our communities.
It can also teach them the benefit of sacrifice. By giving up a toy to a less fortunate child, a child learns that sometimes it’s good to sacrifice. Cutting back on recreation time to help clean up a beach tells kids that there are important things besides ourselves and our immediate needs.
Good Volunteer Jobs 
for Families and Kids
Families can do many volunteer jobs. Even the smallest child (with adult supervision) can pick up garbage at the park, playground, or beach. You don’t even have to be part of a big effort to do this. Get your family together, find some garbage bags, and head out.
Or become involved in repair and renovation efforts for low-income residents. Younger kids might not be able to do the big jobs, but helping out by fetching a paintbrush or holding the nails involves them just the same.
Work at a community food bank or soup kitchen as a family. Find an organization that serves the elderly. Take food to people who are homebound and visit with them. Your kids can brighten a lonely senior’s day instantly. Offer your family’s help at the local animal shelter. Help plant flowers or trees. 
Maybe offer to volunteer your time to help with the Special Olympics, or connect with teens around the world through Unicef-sponsored Voices of Youth.
The possibilities are endless.
Anne Frank once said, “How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.”  
Whatever you choose to do, volunteering and community service can benefit both the community and your family. Get involved today.

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