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volunteer work & homeschooling??? :)

419 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Lillian J

I'm looking for any and all ideas about getting myself and my
children involved in some volunteer work. We'd like to do
something together and take advantage of the great
flexibility we have as homeschoolers. Any ideas???
My wee ones are helpful but still young -- ages 5 and 9.

We've done park clean-ups on our own here and there. This
is fine. I guess I want something more integrated in the
community a bit and also something we can do in rough
weather at times!

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We started something called the book Doctors where we go to the homeless shelter and clean up their books. We bring our "med kit" which includes scotch tape, erasers, and wet wipes for the front covers when they feel grimy. We also go to the thrift shops and pick out new fun exciting book to replace or add to their collection.

Another fun idea is to do art in the park. You get some paints and tape & some boards (to tape paper to) some paper, a bucket of water, some small cans for water and some brushes. Put a banner out that reads Art in the Park (free) and turn children on to painting. Adults will join in as well. Put out a tip jar if you need to cover the cost of the paint and brushes. Instead of using messy squirt paint from a bottle try something easy and inexpensive like tempera cakes. They last forever.
I've done work for Birthright, which is an organization that helps pregnant women in need--my younger one was still a baby, and I wore him in the sling and nursed him while I was there, so I was setting a good example for the women, too. I've also taken them to rallies and campaign events (civics lesson!) and organized park cleanups (civics and ecology lessons). I would *like* to tell you that any group would appreciate any help you offered, but unfortunately many people in the volunteer world are hostile to children's participation, probably because of some bad experiences with parents not supervising, etc. But just think about what "issues" you're particularly passionate about, get your kids' imput too, and ask around with local organizations for what needs to be done, and someone will want you.

Good luck.
Food pantries can use help in sorting and handing things out. The meals-on-wheels programs for the elderly or disabled can use people to drive around and deliver meals to doors. I knew a family that used to do that and spend a few minutes visiting at each home. A friend of mine is assembling nice crafts - decorated birdhouses - for Habitat for Humanity to sell as fundraising. A friend of my son's visits elderly shut-ins on a regular basis to check up on them and keep them in touch with the outside world. You can probably find a lot of ideas at Volunteer Match.- Lillian
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