4 ways to get your family involved in charity work and volunteering

Everyone wants to be more involved in charity work, but too often life gets in the way. Year after year you tell yourself that this will be the year to get the whole family volunteering – but something always happens. That, plus it’s hard to get the entire family focused and motivated.

Getting families into charitable work is easier than you think, and it doesn’t involve as much time and energy as you may expect. Here are four ways to get the ball rolling:

#1: Let the kids pick the cause (within reason!)

A tried-and-true parenting hack that works in most scenarios is this simple psychological idea: kids are more apt to want to do something if you can make them think it’s their idea.

To be fair, this idea will probably work on a stubborn spouse as well. Take a step back and let your family decide what charitable organisation or cause should get their time.

Your kids may choose something closer to their heart – animal welfare, for example. The chances are, they’ll be a lot more committed and excited, as they are actively invested in the cause.

#2: Start with something easy

Before you make plans to host a major fundraising event, or to head out of the country on to build schools and hospitals – it’s best to start small.

Pick something easy for your entire family to do that A) is still incredibly beneficial to those in need and B) actually benefits your own household as well.

No, charity work isn’t 100% selfless and you don’t have to feel guilty about this fact.

How about de-cluttering the house? All of your gently used items that you no longer need can be donated to local charities. Start with clothes that you no longer wear (for whatever reason), and move on to unused and duplicate appliances, cookware, and dinnerware. Local donation organisations don’t just need clothes and smallwares, however. Furniture and entertainment items (think books & DVDs) are also great things to give to charities like Emmaus UK.

#3: Turn something you love to do into a fundraising idea

Many of us don’t have enough extra cash lying around to simply give away – but we all have skills that can inspire people to give their extra cash.

What can you and your kids create? Are you expert bakers? Knitters? Do you like to woodwork? Anything that you make can be sold online, at a carboot sale, or at a community auction, and the proceeds can go to the charity of your choosing.

#4: Host your own fundraising event

Fundraisers don’t just have to involve selling things. Ask a local bar or restaurant to sponsor a charity night with you in which part of their sales for the night go to a charity. Ask local musicians if they would be willing to play for free to support your cause. Your kids will love planning a fundraising event with you – and will probably have the best ideas…

Book swaps, movie nights, pool parties, raffles, carnivals, and bingo nights are all perfect for raising funds. If you ask around your community you will find that most businesses are more than willing – and often eager – to help out a good cause.

The charity work rule you should instil in yourself and your family is that anything helps. You don’t have to devote weeks and months of your life, or raise thousands of pounds, to make a real difference. You and your family can bond over charitable work, and no matter how much time and money you give, your local community will be better for it.

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