Natalie Silverstein, MPH, author of Simple Acts: The Busy Family's Guide to Giving Back, offers three easy suggestions to help you create a summer of purpose with your family.
3 Ways to Create a Summer of Service & Purpose
Acts of service, kindness, and volunteering are some of the most important things we can do with our families this summer. After the very difficult year we’ve just experienced, we’re all craving connection—this is especially true for our children. Service is one of the best ways to connect. Below, Natalie offers three ideas for creating a summer filled with purpose, service, and kindness.
1. Have a Family Meeting
Gather your kids to have a family meeting and come up with a family mission statement. Ask questions such as, “What are the issues that you really care about?” and then think about the organizations in your community that are making an impact. Decide together which organizations you want to reach out to. Ask them how you can help, and take your family to volunteer together in the community.
2. Kitchen-Table Kindness Activities
If your kids are too young for a family meeting, there is another way to involve them in spreading joy and caring: kitchen-table kindness. These are arts and crafts activities, such as writing letters and decorating windows and signs. Participating will flex young children’s empathy “muscles” and allow the littlest ones to feel like they’re making a difference, too.
3. Prioritize Giving Back
If you’re on this page, you’re halfway there! Giving back to our communities is simply something we have to be intentional about. You may think that your family is so busy with work, school, and other activities that giving back isn’t something you have time for. Once you start looking for opportunities to help those in your community, you’ll be amazed at how much is out there that you can do.
Natalie Silverstein is the volunteer coordinator of Doing Good Together in New York City. She is a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of family service. Her essays have appeared on Red Tricycle, Grown and Flown, and Mommy Poppins. In Simple Acts: The Busy Family's Guide to Giving Back, Natalie takes a fresh approach to community service and giving back. It brings busy parents practical, easy-to-do ideas to involve the whole family in volunteering and helping others in the coummunity.