April is National Volunteer month and if you are looking for a fun and meaningful way to spend quality time with your family, volunteering in your local community could be just the thing! Arizona is home to a variety of non-profit organizations that offer exciting opportunities for all ages to get involved.
Volunteering as a family can bring you all closer together, regardless of your children’s ages. It is a chance to connect in a positive environment that emphasizes the importance of giving back and serving others. In fact, a study in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that volunteering can increase happiness for both the individual and their family.
The Impact of Volunteering for Children and Families:
Volunteering can have a profound impact on children and families even if it is just a few hours a month. Here are a few things that make it a meaningful experience:
- It is an opportunity for kids to broaden their perspective. Volunteering kids to interact with people from different backgrounds and communities who may not have the same opportunities as they do.
- Children can see that they are making a difference. Many non-profit organizations encourage children and their families to volunteer, even if they have used the service before. This is a helpful way for kids to understand that they are not alone and that we can all give back to our community. Volunteering is about breaking down the wall between “us” and “them.”
- When children volunteer, they develop a new sense of community. Even kids who don’t speak the same language can work together to get the job done and find that they have more in common than they thought. Volunteering helps youth develop a sense of togetherness, especially if they are serving with their friends or family.
- Children and adults can learn social skills such as communication, problem-solving, and time management while volunteering at non-profits. Many volunteer experiences create a fun and interactive environment, like pairing participants up in teams and seeing who can complete a task the fastest. This not only increases the energy in the room but also teaches children to interact and communicate with their teammates, who they may be meeting for the first time, and learn how to overcome challenges.
When you and your family volunteer, you make a real impact on the world around you. By giving your time and service, you can help those in need, learn valuable skills, and make a positive difference in your community.
The impact of volunteering can be seen year-round as non-profit organizations across the Valley work tirelessly to support their communities.
One such organization is the United Food Bank, located in Mesa, Arizona. United Food Bank relies on volunteers of all ages, even those as young as five, to help with sorting and boxing food donations, building emergency food bags, and more. In 2022, the contributions of over 13,000 volunteers enabled United Food Bank to provide more than 21.6 million pounds of food to over 2 million Arizonans struggling with food insecurity.
About United Food Bank:
Since 1983, United Food Bank has been dedicated to providing hunger relief to people in the East Valley and eastern Arizona. As a member of Feeding America, our food bank collects, acquires, stores, and distributes food to 150 partner agencies and programs in five counties, serving over two million Arizonans. Our efforts result in the distribution of more than 21.6 million pounds of food each year, equating to 50,000 meals a day. Our mission of uniting communities to alleviate hunger is achieved through the hard work of volunteers, agency partners, and donors who join us each day. For more information about our mission and ways to help, please visit us at www.unitedfoodbank.org/.