Banner Health McKee Medical Center

SPR 2017

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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9 SHUTTERSTOCK Family Style F rom making cards at home for senior citizens to taking a service trip across the globe to help kids in need, your family can build stronger ties to one another and to others through volunteering. "Family volunteering strengthens families and communities and helps instill important values in the next generation, such as caring and empathy," says Sarah Fanslau, a senior director at generationOn, the youth division of Points of Light in New York City, the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. In fact, studies show that children who start volunteering early are more likely to continue volunteering into adulthood, according to Basil Sadiq, a spokesman for San Francisco-based VolunteerMatch, which links volunteers to more than 100,000 nonprofit organizations nationwide. Sadiq says one Bay Area volunteer he knows began helping out with his family at local food banks when he was 12. Today, the man is in his 20s and volunteers every Saturday at Project Open Hand, a San Francisco nonprofit with the mission of ending hunger in area communities. GETTING STARTED Finding the time to spend even half an hour doing something for someone else can help kids feel appreciated and respected as well as learn new skills, and it can give parents an opportunity to lead by example, says Fanslau. GenerationOn, for example, offers hundreds of easy do-it-yourself projects for families on its website, in addition to a slew of opportunities for volunteering efforts through its 250 network affiliates in the United States. And the roughly 3,500 projects that VolunteerMatch lists across the country—such as food drives and playground painting—are great ways for families to spend meaningful time together, says Sadiq. "A family unit is ideal for volunteering because within the various generations they have all the energy, creativity, passion and experience to help solve issues within their community," according to Fanslau. GLOBAL PURSUITS Families that want to combine vacation time with volunteer projects can also take advantage of the growing opportunities for service abroad. St. Paul, Minn.-based Global Volunteers, for example, offers programs for parents and teens to help change lives during school vacations, through partnerships with organizations in 21 countries. Among the opportunities are trips to care for street children in India, teach English to Greek schoolchildren on the island of Crete, or help build a community center in a Tanzanian village. S Family volunteering RESOURCES Volunteer VALUES: Doing good as a family By Stephanie Thompson For family volunteering ideas and service opportunities, contact: • generationOn: parents (DIY projects); (service projects) • VolunteerMatch: • Global Volunteers:

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