A break from school and work means it's time to get out and enjoy all that your town has to offer. Next time you spend an afternoon staying busy with community activities, such as reading programs at the library and youth sports tournaments, think about how much they truly affect your friends, neighbors, and children. Then consider getting involved as a volunteer to make sure these events continue!
For many little ones, school and community activities are the only places they interact with children their own age. This exposure helps children develop emotionally and mentally within their own peer group. If your child plays in a T-ball league or attends a basketball camp, ask if the hosting organization needs volunteer coaches to round out the rosters.
Keeping Teens Busy
Not all community activities are geared toward young children. Community center lock-ins and teen dances focus on keeping teenagers busy in a safe, constructive atmosphere. If your son or daughter plans to attend one of these events, offer to bring a snack for the teens to enjoy during the event, which helps the agency sponsoring the event offset the cost of hosting.
Bringing Families Together
In some communities, weekend activities bring families together. For example, fundraising spaghetti dinners and pancake breakfasts often become a meeting place for aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents to unite with their families. If one of these events is coming up on your calendar, see if you and your family can help serve dinner or clean up after the festivities.
United Way promotes community involvement and volunteerism to keep community activities alive and well across the country. For example, United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County in Pennsylvania keeps local residents informed of upcoming events with their Our Community Impact Partner Programs page online. Get involved with your local United Way to learn what's happening in your own backyard.