Family and RelationshipsAn A to Z Guide to Volunteering as a Family in Singapore

December 2, 2018
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In today’s time-starved, fast-paced world, finding time to volunteer as a family seems like a next-to-impossible task. With pressing work and family demands, families are already struggling to find time to spend together, let alone look out for others.

However, volunteering in Singapore can bring benefits to your family and relationships in more ways than one.

Volunteering teaches children values

Volunteering gives parents the precious opportunity to interact meaningfully with their children and impart important values.

Giving back to society helps children develop values like compassion, perseverance and selflessness. As they watch their parents help others, children learn to think beyond themselves and their own needs.

Read also: 10 Life Lessons and Values to Teach Your Children Before They Turn 10

Volunteering helps you know one another better

Volunteering together gives the whole family a chance to understand one another better as it involves teamwork and communication. While working together to serve others, you will join your hearts and your hands to brainstorm, strategise and work in partnership to accomplish the mission.

Difficult or unexpected circumstances may sometimes arise, and these too can be key teaching moments – you can choose to be discouraged and abandon the work or push forward as a team to resolve the issues in the best manner possible. Many families report feeling closer and more united after volunteering together for a period of time.

Through volunteering as a family in Singapore, children gain valuable skills

Research has shown that children who volunteer exhibit higher levels of confidence, motivation, interest in learning, and moral responsibility. They also gain valuable social and career skills, such as dependability and interpersonal communication.

If the volunteering experience is positive, it sends the message to our children that service unto others can be tough, but it can also be fulfilling.

Read also: An Age-by-Age Guide: Teaching Social Skills to Children

Shared experiences are created through volunteering 

Working together for a larger cause helps to create shared experiences and positive memories that the whole family can reminisce with fondness.

For example, if you decide to serve at a nearby old folks’ home by bringing them home-baked goodies, you may spend hours in the kitchen with your kids mixing flour, sugar and butter to bake delicious cookies. Then you may enlist their help to write encouraging notes to stick on as tags on the cookie packs.

Because of the hard work involved in planning and carrying out the activity, the experience often becomes a lasting shared memory that you can hold on to for years to come – not to mention the smiles and gratitude that you will receive when handing out your gifts to the elderly folks.

Volunteering as a family in Singapore: Where to begin

Many families are actually open to volunteer work but simply don’t know where to start.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Identify specific communities or causes that you care about

Be it helping the elderly or disabled children, there are various family-friendly volunteering opportunities that are easily searchable via the Internet. Some examples include being a befriender at a Children’s Home, helping out at The Food Bank Singapore, or assisting with simple chores at one of the many animal shelters in Singapore.

Register your interest at your chosen charity or cause

The next time the organisation has a suitable activity for you and your family, they will get in touch with you, and you can then hop into action.

Discuss about roles and responsibilities

Before actually volunteering, take time to discuss as a family what is expected at the event, and what role and responsibility each one of you can play. Make sure that everyone is on the same page, before the day of the event.

Reflection on volunteering

Finally, after each round of volunteer service, take the time to reflect and discuss how things went. What went well? What needs improvement? These conversations are not easy to have, but they do provide the opportunity for you to grow in this journey of becoming a giving family.

Read also: 6 Empowering Lessons to Teach Your Children

When it comes to volunteering, it may be tempting to sit back, or simply donate money and let others do the work. However, when you volunteer, you actually help others while helping your own family grow closer at the same time!

Written by June Yong

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