Theme: April is Volunteer Month
Welcome to NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK - a week set aside in North America to recognize, honor and celebrate the incredible efforts and contributions that volunteers make to various organizations, programs and ministries. I thought I'd make a month of it.
Volunteers strengthen communities and make our countries vibrant. Today, volunteers are involved in more ways than ever before. They lead rescue efforts when disasters strike. They complete tasks from smartphones while waiting at the bus stop. They serve the homeless and marginalized. They start community gardens. Every day, North Americans lend a hand to their neighbors and friends. And many of them don’t realize that in doing so they’re volunteering.
Local churches help spread the gospel, provide relief efforts when disaster strikes, oversee food distribution projects, promote fair trade coffee, raise funds to support ministry efforts etc., etc. The ways that volunteers are engaged in ministry is outstanding and we are grateful for who they are and the gifts they share with us.
We always need to recognize the efforts of our volunteers, celebrating the tremendous impact they have on our communities. Take some time to show appreciation of their efforts and thanking them for being “living stones” in the building of God’s spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5).
Here's some suggestions for family volunteering from Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything by Laura Grace Weldon
Regularly visit a “grandfriend” at a nursing home, assisted living facility, or in the neighborhood. Play card games, do crafts together, teach each other new skills, make up stories, exchange advice, and build a real connection
Volunteer to deliver Meals on Wheels in your neighborhood, perfect for parent and young children.
Set up a playgroup for babies at your local nursing home or assisted living facility.
Have your small children draw special pictures. Use these as wrapping paper, tucking inside them a piece of wrapped candy or silk flower, along with a note like “thanks for being so nice” or “you made my day.” Then keep these in your carry-all or purse and when you’re out together, share them with a polite cashier, a kind librarian, or wonderful friend. It shows children that everyone should be valued and that kindness is everywhere.
Help your children offer popsicles or cold drinks to garbage truck workers.
As a family or with a group of kids, develop a show to present at a nearby library, daycare, or community center. It might be a puppet show, play, or craft project. Get your dance class, choir, or martial arts school to give a demonstration at a daycare, nursing home, or community center.
See if your local food shelter will let families work together to set tables, serve beverages, and clean up.
Walk dogs, collect mail, shovel snow, or rake leaves for someone in your neighborhood who needs the help.
Greet your neighbors with a small gift such as a houseplant or plate of cookies.
1 Peter 2:5
You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.