Start a new tradition with Family Volunteer Day

As part of the increasing trend of families volunteering together, HandsOn Network is celebrating our tenth annual Family Volunteer Day, sponsored by Disney Parks, on November 21. Commemorated annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Family Volunteer Day kicks off the holiday season with giving and service.

Volunteering as a family provides a fun way for families to make memories together while making significant contributions to their communities. It also teaches children the values of kindness and giving back, ideas which complement the gift-giving and receiving season. Finally, serving together builds problem solving skills and strengthens communication within the whole family.

HandsOn Network has created a page of resources and tools to help organizations and families prepare to engage in service on Nov. 21. A few of the creative and fun projects happening on Nov. 21 that we're already aware of include:

Boston Cares is encouraging families to aid the Lowell Wish Project by sorting donations or volunteer at John Eliot K-8 School to assemble and decorate indoor recess packets that will help improve student literacy and learning.

The National Children's Museum in the Washington D.C. region is celebrating Family Volunteer Day at Oxon Hill Farm, a historical landmark and part of the National Park Service. Volunteers will clear a trail as park rangers help them discover native plants and animals. The families will enjoy wagon rides at the conclusion of their successful day of service.

The United Way of Larimer County's Family Volunteer Day program follows the Give-Educate-Advocate-Volunteer model. Families are encouraged to: give items like books and canned goods, educate themselves on social issues in their area such as poverty, be an advocate by passing along the knowledge they've learned and volunteer their afternoon to make holiday greeting cards and journals for local youth in foster care programs.

However you choose to volunteer on Family Volunteer Day, make sure you share your story so that we can inspire others with your effort! Family Volunteer Day is a great way to introduce youth to service and instill in them a lifelong commitment to volunteering.