This post is inspired by the Yahoo! Motherboard's topic of the month: volunteerism. Evidence points to an increase in volunteerism this past year, and while I can only guess as to why that is, I can say definitively that our family is a part of that upswing. Check out the site to read more posts by other Motherboard bloggers.
Our frequent moves have made me hyper-sensitive about raising our son with a connection to his family and community. It's important to me that he knows where he comes from, and feels a part of the world around him. So we walk around town completing errands and chatting with the store owners and workers we've come to know, we attend the local summer parades, and last year we started the habit of participating in charity walks and races in the greater NYC area as often as we can. This gives us the opportunity to explore and connect with our community as a family.
There are just so many different causes that we'd like to support, but we don't have the funds - or time - on one full salary to support 'em all, though we do as many as we can, usually two a month from spring to fall. I've written before about doing 5ks as a family and how we do it to instill a healthy lifestyle in the kiddo while getting us up early and moving so we're all outside breathing fresh air and circulating the endorphins for a great family day. I personally enjoy doing so many walks and races because it gives us the opportunity to explore the greater NYC area without traffic early in the morning, and we usually get some great views, photos and experiences out of it. ...plus those warm fuzzies for having done some "good."
I realize that this activity seems to be more "donating" than volunteering, but it's working for us right now, it's more than we were doing two years ago, and there's always room to improve as our situation changes down the line. Besides, this makes us a part of the increased volunteerism movement, and I think that's kinda cool. Imagine what all of these kids growing up with volunteering a part of their family life will do when they become adults!