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Volunteering Together

A great way to keep those New Year’s resolutions

In today’s busy world, many of us feel we don’t spend enough time with our families. Each year we resolve to balance our busy lives and make a difference in the lives of others.

Volunteering as a family is an excellent way to do just that. Volunteering is an activity you can begin almost immediately. It builds confidence and teaches new skills in both adults and children. Family members of all ages and definitions can participate. Whenever and how often is up to you… once a week, once a month, once a year. The experience of volunteering together can help the whole family appreciate social and cultural differences in Calgary’s community. This appreciation can lead to a healthier, caring and vibrant community. That benefits everyone.

Family volunteers, the McManus’, are proof positive that when you involve your family you not only enrich the lives of others, you are also strengthening family ties. When and how is up to the family. For example, the McManus family have created a "sharing container" where each of three siblings divide their allowances into three parts: saving, spending and sharing. "We either buy Christmas presents for strangers or purchase food for the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank," says their mother, Andrea McManus. "We are teaching our children about caring and sharing as well as valuable financial and economic skills. It is a way I can teach my children about working on behalf of other people…we talk about the charity and the cause while we are doing it. Giving is a healthy thing to do."

You have the power to enrich the lives of others, strengthen family ties and improve the quality of life in your community. When you and one or more members of your family volunteer together - whether with the charitable organization of your choice or by helping neighbours with their chores - you are Families Volunteering Together.

Volunteer Calgary's Families Volunteering Together program encourages families to become involved in the community and empowers them to decide what they will support and how to make a difference. Volunteer Calgary can help you choose from the more than 300 opportunities from organizations that have developed programs for families who wish to volunteer together. Give us a call at (403) 265-5633 or visit our web site at and we'll help you get started.

Shawna Ogston is the Manager of Communications at Volunteer Calgary and is an active volunteer with her husband and five-year old son.

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