Doing Good Together, a non-profit organization has posted a list of its “Ten Reasons to Start Doing Good Together Now” (for the original story, see: http://www.doinggoodtogether.org/tenreasons.html) for family volunteering travel trips, and I think they’re great!
1. Family Volunteer travel is a chance for busy parents to spend time with their kids while giving back to the community.
2. A family volunteer vacation enables parents to pass on key values to their children, such as good citizenship, community responsibility, compassion and kindness.
3. It can help your kids stay out of trouble: Studies show that children who volunteer just one hour per week are less likely than other kids to get involved in destructive behaviors, such as smoking or drug and alcohol abuse. Another bonus: Adults who volunteer are happier and healthier than those who don’t.
4. Family volunteer travel helps with family bonding, gets you all talking to one another, and can spark meaningful discussions about important personal and social issues.
5. It can make you smarter. Hosting a foreign student can teach you about another culture; working to save the rainforest can teach you about ecology and biodiversity. Not to mention the lessons in responsibility and team work.
6. Family Voluntourism can make us grateful for what we have, especially if the volunteer job involves homeless families, lonely seniors or hospitalized children. There’s nothing like volunteering for putting our own problems into perspective.
7. It breeds a generation of future volunteers. According to a 2002 report, adults who volunteered as children were two times more likely to be involved in community service as adults who didn’t.
8. It helps children appreciate their own talents, gain self-confidence and feel good about making a contribution.
9. It helps break down stereotypes at a young age, and teaches greater tolerance and understanding. Through volunteering, children often meet people from diverse cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, ages and income levels.
10. Volunteer vacations are fun. There can be great joy in serving others, especially when you’re doing it with the ones you love.