How Busy Families Can Make Time for Community Service

As parents, we want to raise children who are community-minded, yet finding the time to volunteer regularly can be tricky. Giving back doesn’t have to be a monumental task. Instead, keep it simple, focus on one or two causes, and find activities that are truly meaningful to your family.

At Musselman’s, for instance, we believe in building strong families — and know that healthy, happy parents provide the best foundation for healthy, happy kids. That’s why we support the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) in fighting one of the biggest health risks faced by women (and moms) —breast cancer, the second leading cause of death for women in the United States.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and this year, we’re donating money to help NBCF raise awareness about the importance of breast self-exams, mammograms, and other early detection measures. Our goal is to donate $65,000!
How can your family help? Just look for Musselman’s select apple sauce and apple juice products with “pink-ribbon” packaging in stores. Every time you purchase a product, we’ll donate money to NBCF.

How can your family help?

Look for Musselman’s select apple sauce and apple juice products with “pink-ribbon” packaging in stores. Every time you purchase a product, we’ll donate money to NBCF.


Buying specially labeled products is one simple way to give back, but it’s just the beginning. Talk with your kids about projects that interest them. Set a specific goal to volunteer once or twice a month (or even once or twice a year) as a family, and mark the dates on the calendar. Below are ideas to get you started:

Remember furry friends. Kids feel a natural affinity for animals, and usually love any service project involving them. Organizations like PAWS offer countless ways for families and kids to make a difference in the lives of animals, from baking dog treats to sell in a fundraiser to participating in a gift drive for animals. Other organizations (like Wags for Hope in Maryland) provide opportunities for you to take your pet to a nursing home, where your furry friend will become an instant conversation starter and brighten up the day of the residents, many of whom used to have a pet of their own.

Gather supplies. Don’t forget children in need as you head through the school year. Buy a few extra notebooks, pens, and markers to donate to your local schools. Organize a clothing or coat drive by sending out a simple email to friends, and then drop off the contributions at a charitable organization.

Find a need. You’re willing to help, but you’re not sure where to start. Contact local charitable organizations, libraries, or animal shelters to find ideas, or visit Create the Good, a website that lists volunteer opportunities in your area.

Thank a soldier. Teach kids to appreciate and respect our armed forces. Write letters or send books to military personnel, and say thank you when you see a soldier in uniform.

Make service a lifestyle. Volunteerism can be an abstract concept, but it becomes more tangible when kids have regular face-to-face interactions. Get to know your neighbors, and pay attention to their needs. Enlist your kids to help shovel an elderly neighbor’s driveway or rake leaves in the fall. Take dinner to a sick friend, and know that when kids consistently help perform simple acts of service it teaches them the importance of helping others and makes it a comfortable part of their routine – something they will continue for life.

A study from the Corporation for National and Community Service found that people who volunteer regularly have better physical health and greater life satisfaction. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s a win-win for the community and your family.

So, don’t delay. Pull your family together and decide what your next family volunteer project will be.