Giving your time and talents to those who need it is a great way to spend time together as a family. It’s a way to teach your kids that you value community service and that a group of people can accomplish more than one person alone.

Do a little family brainstorming to settle on the type of project everyone would enjoy. If you enjoy being outdoors, you might want to help restore a creek or clean up the beach. If it’s snowing outside, cooking and serving dinner at a soup kitchen or sorting donations at your local food bank might be a better option. Once you settle on an area of interest, check these resources to get started:

  1. American’s Second Harvest/The Nation’s Food Bank Network

    Type your ZIP code in the “search” box and find the food bank nearest you.

  2. The Network for Good

    This organization’s goal is to connect people to charities through the Internet. The site has a search tool to pinpoint volunteer organizations that welcome children or teens. It also includes a useful list of 10 Tips on Volunteering Wisely.


    Idealist, aka Action Without Borders, is a New York-based nonprofit organization that hosts a searchable database with volunteer opportunities across the country and around the world, as well as information about how to start a project.

  4. Doing good together

    Expressly family-focused, Doing Good Together “inspires and helps family volunteer.” The site is filled with ideas on how parents and kids can volunteer and help others, from cleaning up a local park to reading stories together to kids in the hospital.