Community & Volunteering News

Family Volunteering: The Benefits to Families

Family Volunteering:  The Benefits to Families


Through volunteer activities, families enrich their relationships with one another and gain insights into the challenges of other human beings.


The following are some benefits to families who volunteer:


  • Adults and children share the same goal and a common purpose.


  • Children gain opportunities to share their time and talents.


  • Children learn self-confidence and acquire new skills.


  • Family members encounter people form different cultures and economic backgrounds, and grow as human beings.


  • Family members see one another in a new light and with a fresh perspective.


  • Family members become better at communicating and more supportive of one another.


  • Volunteer experiences carry over into other parts of their lives such as dinner table discussions.


  • Children learn the lifelong lesson that by giving to others they put their own problems in perspective.


From a publication of Family Matters, a national program of the Points of Light Institute/Hands On Network, designed to strengthen families and to help solve serious social problems in communities through family volunteering.


When looking for a place to volunteer, how do you know whether a particular organization is likely to provide a positive experience where your abilities will be well utilized? While there are no guarantees, there are some things to look for: • Does the organization have a volunteer job description clearly defining what you will be doing? If not, is the organization’s contact person able to explain to you what you will be doing? • What kind of training/orientation does the organization provide? • Who will be your supervisor? Will that person be easily accessible to you? • Is there enough for you to do? • Will you be working by yourself or with other volunteers? • Where will you work? Does the organization have a workplace for you? • How does the paid staff respond to volunteers?


If you have never volunteered, here are a few tips on how to get started:
Ask yourself the following questions:

• What am I interested in doing as a volunteer?

• Do I want to do something I am good at? What do I want to learn about? Do I want to learn a new skill? Do I want to volunteer in something that is related to my job?

• How much time can I dedicate to volunteering? Do I want to volunteer on a daily, weekly, monthly, or episodic basis?

• Do I have an area of expertise that would benefit an organization?

• Would I volunteer in person, or be a volunteer online (cyber-volunteer)? Can I volunteer from home or work? How can I get to the volunteer location?

Once you have answered these questions:

• Contact the Volunteer Center of Burlington County to find a listing of volunteer opportunities and to learn about organizations needing volunteers.

• Call organizations that match your volunteer interest, abilities, and availability.

• Schedule an appointment to meet with the organization’s manager of volunteers.

• Ensure that you have a good match between the organization and yourself before you begin to volunteer.

• Complete any paperwork (application, background check, etc.) needed in order to volunteer.