How Your Whole Family Can Get Involved in Volunteer DIY Projects for Your Community


One of the most rewarding things to do with your family is to participate in a DIY-style community service project. Not only will you be doing something great for those in your community that need the most help, but you'll be teaching your children the value of hard work and selflessness. Here are some tips for getting your whole family involved in volunteer DIY work.

Making people's homes more accessible

One way to benefit your community is to make sure that seniors and those with disabilities are able to live comfortably and independently in their own homes. Many seniors, living on fixed incomes and without any help, have a very hard time making home modifications on their own.

That's where an organization like Habitat for Humanity can really be of service. The nonprofit, which helps organize home builds and repairs for the less fortunate in communities all over the world, also run Restores- donation centers that sell new used furniture, appliances, home decor, and building materials on the cheap. You and your family can take advantage of these Restores to find supplies for improving the accessibility of homes in your community. Some solid DIY projects that your whole family can also participate in include the building of ramps for those with physical mobility issues. You can install handles and grip bars inside homes.

Modifications to the bathrooms and kitchens are crucial to those living with disabilities or mobility issues, as those are highly-trafficked rooms where seniors and those with disabilities often have the most problems. Some suggested modifications that can be done with donated building materials include "adding an automatic opening pocket door from the hallway allowing direct access … to the bathroom, providing a vanity with adequate storage that allows for knee space when seated, and installing a sink that extends beyond the vanity top allowing for ease of approach.

Making people's homes more beautiful

One great DIY project that kids can easily do is painting. Donate your time to help spruce up the walls of a senior's home, a retirement community, a local youth shelter, or other community living center in your community.

Finding decorative items is also a project fit for the whole family. Check places like Habitat Restores, but also local flea markets, second hand shops like Goodwill and the Salvation Army, and even online sources like eBay and Craigslist for inexpensive decorative items that will make people's living situations more beautiful and enjoyable.

Making communities more sustainable

When it comes to DIY projects you can do with your kids, there's really nothing better than gardening. Planting flowers, plants, and food is fun, easy, and has a giant impact on the community.

You and your family can revamp the outdoor living areas at community centers, assisted living communities, and even at individuals' houses. If you're more ambitious, creating or joining a community garden is a wonderful volunteer DIY project. It certainly takes some effort, but is incredibly rewarding.

"Some communities are struggling to purchase fresh and healthy food for their families. Local food pantries and other organizations whose mission is to provide food to those in need are seeing an increase in need and a decrease in donations. Starting or joining a community - or a school - garden can help address all of these concerns!" notes the AARP's Create the Good initiative.

Your family will learn about sustainability, science, food, and more. Plus, you'll be doing a huge service for your community.

There's nothing more rewarding than getting your hands dirty and building something for a great cause. Involving your kids in the projects teaches them lifelong lessons about how to build, the importance of community involvement, and the value of hard work.

Contributed by Lexie Dy

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