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How to volunteer when your children are young (and you don’t have time)

Many thanks to Clorox for sponsoring this post.

A group of people standing on top of a grass covered field

Often times I find that with four children (young ages), I don’t have the time to volunteer like I would like to.  Today I wanted to help you by sharing some ways to help, even when the time is limited.

My parents are such shining examples to us.  They volunteer at the soup kitchen and bake meals for families at our church that need them.   My mom even used her nursing background to help patients at the local Hospice House.

I look at my life and I am so grateful, but, at this season in my life, I just don’t have the ability to “get in there” and volunteer like I would like to.   In order to do this, I would have to hire a babysitter to donate my time elsewhere, so instead, I need to think of ways that I can help while being with our children.   

I donate things, I volunteer when I can (when my husband is home to watch our children or when I can bring the kids to help along with me).   I buy gifts and food for the children and families that don’t have any, I take meals to people when they need them. I show my children that it is important to pray for these families, as well.  All in all, I want to show my children that we help when we can, how we can.

Clorox completed a study that showed that clean plays an important role in the need for empathy, compassion, and connection in an increasingly complex and stressful world.   Cleaning for others is a way to increase that joy that we feel when we help others. Parents want to raise children who are caring and compassionate and kids themselves want a kinder world.

Supporting research data:

    • 75% of parents worry the world is an unkind place for their child.
    • 65% of American parents say it is extremely important to them that their children be caring and compassionate adults.
    • 73% of American parents say it is more important that their child is kind to others than academically successful.
    • When asked what they would change in the world, more than half of kids’ responses were about kindness, with 24% of kids wanting the world to be a kinder, more respectful place; 15% want to end crime and violence; 8% want to help those in need; and another 7% want to end bullying and improve education.

Here are a few ways  that we can help:

1. Volunteer to help someone.  Do you have a neighbor that needs some help getting things done around the house?  We’ve always lived in neighborhoods, so the opportunity to help an elderly person has always presented itself.  Maybe you can even simply clean their front porch. Help them get rid of that mildew that is being stubborn and make it as clean as it has ever been.  Grab some Clorox Bleach and get to work. 🙂

A close up of a bottle of Clorox sitting on the floor.

  1. Call your local church or Christian Mission and see if you can donate things.  Our local church has a backpack for children program where we can donate food for children to take home from school on Friday and use it to eat over the weekend.   You can also donate to your food pantry/soup kitchen or to a family in need. Be sure that before you donate or prepare any food, that your kitchen is clean and disinfecting so you’re spreading love, not germs.

    A kitchen with a spray bottle of Clorox sitting on the counter.
  2.  Help to raise awareness.  The more people that are aware of the amount of hunger in our world, the more people that can help.

  3. Visit a nursing home and take cards to the residents.  

    A girl sitting at a table coloring with a blue marker.
    5. Volunteer at an animal shelter.  Our kids love to do this! They love to help out when they can and they love animals, so it’s a win-win.

    6. Clean before and after a church function.   There are so many opportunities for people to get together, but those same people rarely want to prepare for the event by cleaning or stay after to clean up.  This is a great opportunity to show your kids that a clean space can set the stage for a happy, healthy, fun get together. And cleaning up afterward shows them to take responsibility for space.

    7.  Bake Cookies for someone.  It isn’t hard and it isn’t time-consuming, but it makes a big difference.  Surprise someone with cookies and a nice handwritten card.

    8.  Cut a neighbor’s grass.  Mickey has done this multiple times when a neighbor has been sick or is unable to cut their own grass.  Now our oldest son is doing the same thing to show our neighbors we care.

    9.  Donate books and toys to a preschool.   We have many preschools in our area, so when we are ready to get rid of toys and books we know just where to take them.   Our kids love to go through books and figure out which ones they should keep and which ones they should donate and go through the process helps teach them compassion for others and sharing their favorite stories with other kids.

    A  girl sitting on at a  kitchen counter with an open book in front  of her.
    10.  Take care of your family.   While volunteering outside of the home is important and teaches the kids great lessons, I also want them to see that I take time to take care of our own house and family.  I want them to see that I love the people in my life so much that I want them to live in a clean, well-kept home. I want them to know that it brings me joy to clean a house for them to live in every day.

    A spray foam bottle  and container of Clorox wipes sitting on the bathroom counter.

I want them to know that because I have a clean home, I am able to give more to others because a calm clean home is relaxing and has the ability to refuel you.   It makes you feel whole again. When I grab my Clorox Scentiva products, I am not only using them because I love the way that they smell like a dreamy Pacific Coconut paradise, but I’m also doing it because I want my family to get a sense of relaxation and happiness from my efforts.   I want them to love the home that we live in…

A large living room with white furniture and a white table.

So, if you see a messy spot (for me, it’s always the wall going up the stairs), grab your Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and get to work to show your family just how much you care…

A container of Clorox wipes sitting on wooden stairs.





Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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