Family Matters: Community Service Builds Connections

By Lucia Ferrara

Have you or your children gone out to volunteer in your neighborhood, church, or community at large? Community service and outreach are very important when it comes to family matters. Teaching our children about what it means to “reach out” is important for their growth and development. It helps build confidence and skills for them to become successful adults, skills such as showing up on time, being a team member, and organizational and communication skills.

More importantly, it teaches us about human connections. Connections and relationships help us improve our community one step at a time. This makes our family and community a better place for all of us to live in.

Volunteering as a family can be a fun and rewarding experience. It gives you quality time together too. Whether you are volunteering at a food pantry, clothing drive or mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn together it can be an awesome way to bring families together.

According to an online article in AARP Create the Good, “Service can get everyone thinking positively and prioritizing what is important. Plus, you’ll make some great memories.”

I remember a few years ago when my older son was completing an Eagle Scout project that involved collecting toiletries and household items for the Eastern Jackson County foster care families. We collected laundry baskets too to put all the items in so they could be delivered to the homes of families who are in foster care. With the help of a local organization, we made this happen. It was definitely a team effort that involved many hands and hearts. We all helped out by collecting, organizing and distributing supplies for those in need.

What started out as an Eagle Scout project turned into a family affair! Through my son’s project, we as a family spent valuable time together, made lots of memories and it helped my children to learn empathy for others and what it means to interact with people from various walks of life.

I challenge you to make a difference in your life and those of others by engaging in some of the following opportunities with your family and friends:

  • Gather canned food to give to the local food bank.
  • Adopt a local monument and keep it clean
  • Help decorate a senior center or nursing home for the holidays.
  • Ask a local firehouse if you can clean it

As President George H.W. Bush once stated, “We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a thousand points of light … we all have something to give.”

Very well said! We all have something to give of ourselves. Giving our time, skill, energy, and love goes a long way and none of those can be measured with money. So, if you want to leave a legacy to your children, leave them with skills that build bridges, connections and relationships with others.

All the articles in the Family Matters series are available here.

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[Lucia Ferrara is the Director of Hospitality at Precious Blood Renewal Center and the lead organizer here of Parent Cafes. Share your thoughts with Lucia or ask her questions by using the form below or sending an email to Read more about the Parent Café here.]

Volunteering as a family can be a fun and rewarding experience. Photo 72256998 / Community Service © Syda Productions |

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