Volunteering as a family is a powerful way to connect with your children and to help them develop compassion and understanding for others, build skills, and learn other valuable life lessons. With yesterday and today (November 21-22) being National Family Volunteer Day weekend and the holidays just around the corner, consider the following ways you can foster service together and help create a better Mid-South any day of the year.
1. Challenge Each Other to a Canned Food Drive: 230,000 Memphians rely on the Mid-South Food Bank annually to feed themselves and their families. So, organize a food drive and create some fun, competitive spirit between you and other members of your family or other families who are friends. The larger your family, like adult siblings with children of their own, the more magnified your impact can be! Challenge each other to see how many friends you can engage or how many non-perishable food items you can donate. Work with your children to set the goal and then beat it! If you want to see your impact firsthand, help sort the contributions at Mid-South Food Bank (children as young as ten years old can volunteer with their parent or guardian). Learn more at midsouthfoodbank.org.
2. Feed the Homeless: Every Wednesday, The Urban Bicycle Food Ministry meets for devotion then makes sandwiches or burritos to deliver across Downtown Memphis to the homeless that night. Families can drop off sandwich or burrito items (bread, meat, etc.) or join alongside them for delivery. Learn more at ubfm.net.
3. Collect Supplies: Spend time shopping for and collecting items to donate, like teddy bears for Memphis Child Advocacy Center, food for animals at Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services, or snacks and toiletries to send overseas to our Military (msprojectpackage.org).
4. Donate Gifts for Kids: Each year, Porter-Leath collects toys so 5,800 local, low-income children, under the age of five, can receive a meaningful gift this holiday season. Beyond donating gifts for the children, families can help pack the Toy Truck December 14-19 with Santa and his helpers. Learn more at www.porterleath.org/toy-truck-home.
As you’re serving with your family, please take photos and share them using #FamilyVolunteerDay, so we can help share them, as well.