One of our goals this year was to do at least two volunteer activities as a family. Fortunately, in Austin, there's a non-profit organization that makes this kind of goal relatively easy for us. Little Helping Hands publishes a calendar every month of new volunteer activities and experiences. The problem is that the calendar fills up very fast.
So far, we've been able to sign up for two of them: volunteering at a homeless shelter to make a meal and--most recently--doing arts and crafts at a home for senior citizens.
Visiting the senior living center was a wonderful experience for so many reasons. First, it pushed all of us out of our comfort zones. Henry and Tate were initially shy, and Matt and I were insecure about the best way to interact with the residents, some of whom were totally unresponsive. We ended up having a wonderful time helping them make little art projects. Tate even independently served water to a couple residents who were very appreciative.
I was also so grateful to have such an inter-generational experience. It was wonderful and grounding to see the range of human experience from 3 to 93.
I highly recommend this kind of experience for families with young children who are interested in volunteering. I bet you could even call your local center and ask them if you could stop by during some of the planned activity times just to interact with people.