If there is one thing that the last year has shown us, it’s the value of time spent with family. Those of us who live long distances away from our loved ones and relatives have felt that separation as the Coronavirus pandemic forced us to make difficult choices. For those of us lucky enough to have spent the last several months with our families, we have felt the benefit of having more time to get to know our family. We have also enjoyed the chance to spend a lot of quality time together and to have the kind of conversations that maybe would never have happened were it not for the circumstances we have endured.
As we look ahead to the holidays and the new year and hope 2021 sees a return to normal, it is time to start thinking about how the family unit can continue to grow and learn together. It is also the case that the holidays remind us of how fortunate we are and how we can help those in need. Volunteering is one of the most valuable things a person can do, not just for the people you are helping but also for yourself. It is an experience that connects you with your community, giving you the sense of well-being that comes from contributing towards something greater than yourself, and that gives you the knowledge that you have helped make someone’s life a brighter place to be. It is also one of the most rewarding activities that you can do as a family.
Nonprofit organization Dorchester Habitat for Humanity in Summerville, South Carolina, is the perfect example of a community project with a clear mission statement, an excellent track record, and a range of ways for volunteers to contribute. They build affordable homes for residents in need and also help with repair efforts. They have built 67 homes to date, with more than 180 residents of Dorchester County benefiting from their construction work, and here are a few of the ways that you can turn helping your community into a family activity.
The first is the most active option: volunteering together on a construction project. Now, of course, there are some restrictions on a construction site, so this may not be the perfect fit if you’re looking for an activity for the little ones. Still, people over 16 are allowed on-site and are permitted to participate in some kinds of construction work. This is a great way for those aged 18 or above to engage in some physical activity with a positive goal. If you want your family to be a part of making a family’s life better, this is the kind of activity that directly helps those in need in a tremendously powerful way.
If heading to a construction site and picking up some power tools or carrying lumber is not an option, keep in mind that you can volunteer your time to assist with administration. The team estimates that approximately 2,000 hours of volunteer time goes into building a new home, so any time you and your family can spare will make a massive difference.
Have A Clear-Out Together
Another realization that the holiday season always brings is how much goes to waste at this time of year. We’re not just talking about the food that doesn’t get eaten; we’re talking about the furniture that gets dumped as new pieces arrive. There are also the home improvement materials that are bought with the best of intentions but sit in a pile in the corner of the garage, and even the books and DVDs that were either never read or watched once and are sitting on the shelf taking up space.
It’s important to remember that the holidays are about giving as much as they are about receiving. There is no better way to educate your children on how powerful the act of giving can be by showing them how they can turn unused or gently used items into charitable donations. Charitable organization Dorchester Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore is their home improvement outlet, where businesses and individuals can shop for inexpensive materials, appliances, and more, and where they know that the money they spend goes towards helping construct new homes for those who need them. You can also volunteer your time to work at the ReStore, whether that’s helping in customer service, repairing items, organizing inventory, or creating fantastic DIY projects and displays. You will be teaching your children a valuable message about our environmental responsibilities and how seemingly small acts, such as donating an item, can improve others’ lives.
Consider Giving Money To Show The Benefits Of Charity
There are also options for donating funds directly if giving your time is going to be an issue. If you want to give a small donation, perhaps as a gift, you can join the Carpenters Club for a monthly fee of $12 or more towards each new home build. The real reward for this donation is not a welcome gift. It comes with an invitation to celebrate the build’s completion at the Dedication and Key-Presentation Ceremony for each completed home. You will also have the opportunity to meet each home’s partner family and take a tour around the neighborhood. If you are thinking about how to gift your family members with something that enriches their lives, with an experience that takes them outside their own day today, this can show them how direct the effects of charity can be. They will see that they haven’t just given a forgettable gift. They will have helped provide a family with a home.
There are additional ways to ensure that you help Dorchester Habitat for Humanity through the years. These include joining the Legacy Giving Society, which will give you options to offer a bequest, a gift of securities, gifts of life insurance or gift annuities, or even transferring real estate titles. There is nothing more rewarding than giving to and connecting with your community, and this can be such a profound and powerful experience to share with your loved ones.