No matter how much you want to volunteer, it is difficult when you have young children. I thought I would share some ways that my friends and I have volunteered when our children were/are young. These are things that you can do for your favorite charities and service organizations either from your home or with your children. I am not suggesting that you should volunteer when you have young children, sometimes, especially if you have volunteered a lot in the past, this can be a time to take a break and come back with renewed energy when your children are older. However, if you are feeling called to volunteer and want to do so without being separated from your children here are some things you can do:
1. Be an email coordinator and/or newsletter cooridinator
2. Sunshine Committee (send cards and flowers, organize meals for new moms and the sick)
3. Send out mailings (Many organizations send out newletters, invitations, or donation requests. You can address letters and lick stamps while your children draw at the table beside you.)
4. Do the accounting
5. Volunteer Coordinator (when I was on bed rest while expecting Rew I obviously could not volunteer, but I could send emails and make phone calls to match volunteers to positions and coordinate times from bed)
6. Visit the elderly (nothing generates more smiles than a happy baby)
7. Work in the nursery at your church
8. Wrap gifts for an angel tree program (Our angel tree program requests that gifts be donated unwrapped and then the volunteers have a massive wrapping party while the child play and do art in a corner of the room.)
9. Organize donations (Our church has a clothes closet and the clothing needs to be washed and sorted by size which can be done at home. A military spouse group that I belonged to ran a thrift store and used the proceeds to give scholarships to military dependents. They allowed mothers to bring their children with them to sort since the shop was closed to the public that day.)
10. Write press releases for your favorite organization.
How do/did you volunteer when you have young children? Did you take a break? Do you choose to financially support a ministry instead? Did you trade off babysitting with a friend or find some other creative way to find a way to serve? Please share in the comment section how you balance volunteering with all of your other commitments.