It’s been a long year. Kids are home for the summer, things are slowing down, and it’s time to relax and create those fun family memories that come with the summer heat.
Volunteering at home is a great way to create those memories together! You can relax at home with the family while still giving back to your community. It’s a great way to bond with busy kids and it’s easy!
Here are a few ideas for family bonding now that kids are home from school:
1). Kits, Care Packages and Bags, galore!
Sit down with the family and create a few Hygiene kits to be donated at your local homeless shelter or food bank. Make as many as you’d like! And be sure to include the essentials like: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, bar soap, band aids, razors, shaving cream, shampoo, etc. What else would you like to add? There are so many possibilities. Visit volunteermatch.org to find out where you can donate the supplies.
Or why not create a chemo care package to send along to your local hospital? These are a great tool and an awesome gift for those enduring Chemotherapy treatment. Include things like: lemon drops and disposable tooth brushes to help their taste buds; a water bottle to help flush the drugs through their system; lotion and hand sanitizer to help their immune systems; a journal to write in (you could even leave encouraging notes or inspirational phrases inside!); and some chocolate, too. A special treat can go a long way! Check out thepamperedpatient.com for more ideas.
Making wish list bags for the Ronald McDonald house is also a great family activity. Visit their website here and look through the Ronald McDonald House- Upper Midwest wish list. Get your family together and go through your pantry; visit the store and put together a bag for the families that stay at the RM House. With volunteers like you taking care of the little things, families there can focus on the big things- like the health of their child.
Words are a powerful thing. Sit down with your family and write a card to a soldier serving overseas. (Check out this website for directions). Why not join a pen pal program? Or send a few cards to children with life threatening illnesses? It’s a fun, easy way to lift their spirits and help them through their tough time. You can decorate them, send small gifts, include pictures, etc. It’s a great opportunity to get creative and make a difference!
3). Sew it up.
Become a “blanketeer” with an organization like Project Linus. Get together with the family to make a new, handmade, washable blanket to be given as a gift to seriously ill and traumatized children, ages 0-18. They accept blankets of all styles and sizes, including quilts, tied comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans, and receiving blankets in child-friendly colors. To get started, visit their “Patterns” page. It’s easy, fun and incredibly heart-warming to provide security to these kids as a family.
Want more? Check out the HandsOn Twin Cities Pinterest page for more crafty, family-friendly ways to volunteer from home this season.