Moms and Daughters Serving Together

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I remember the joy in the elderly lady’s eyes when my mom and I sat at her table. It was 1975 and, as an antisocial ten-year-old, the last thing I wanted to do was hang out at a nursing home and sit next to someone I didn’t even know.

But now, many years later, I remember that particular Mother-Daughter Day event at Kingwood Good Samaritan Home through a different lens. It’s clear to me how this lovely lady’s gratitude for having been named our “honorary grandma” had made her day. Maybe even her month.

All those years ago, my mom, in her infinite wisdom, was fully aware of the importance of not only brightening a stranger’s day, but exposing her own daughter to the beauty of voluntarism and service. It’s a lesson I didn’t fully absorb until I became a mom to my own daughter, and it’s one I’m determined to pass on to her.

Mother-daughter service opportunities come in many forms. They can be as simple as sharing love and laughs at an assisted living facility or as complex as a missionary trip to a developing country. Here are some ideas and resources for creating your tandem voluntarism experience.

Give Kids the World Village
Give Kids the World Village is an 84-acre resort for children of all abilities located in Kissimmee, Florida. This non-profit has a mission of inspiring hope, creating priceless memories and helping kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families celebrate life. Since 1986, more than 154,000 children and families have had their dreams fulfilled in a whimsical village unlike any other place on earth.

As a non-profit, volunteer time and talent help them facilitate their mission to the hundreds of kids who visit every year. Mother-daughter service opportunities include using musical or acting skills to entertain or acting as tour guides, resort ambassadors, party hostesses and photographers for visiting families.

Global Volunteers
If mother-daughter duos are open to opportunities that involve manual labor along with a cultural experience, Global Volunteers might be the ticket. Global Volunteers is a non-profit that organizes group volunteer vacations in 19 countries and operates on a principle called “match labor.”

The organization enlists their volunteers to be part of life-changing projects such as building schools or community centers in undeveloped areas of the globe. The work is hands on and volunteers participate in every step of the project, from clearing a plot of ground and digging the foundation to mixing cement by hand.

National Charity League, Inc.©
The National Charity League, Inc is the nation’s distinctive, well-respected mother-daughter membership organization that’s committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences. NCL is unique because of its multi-generational membership and their NCL Experience mission. Through volunteer opportunities, leadership training and cultural experiences, this non-profit strives to inspire and empower women and their daughters to become confident, well-rounded and socially aware contributors in their communities. Since 1958, NCL has developed women leaders through volunteerism and supporting philanthropies with hands-on activities in local communities.

The benefits of volunteerism are enormous; parents know it’s a great way to model important behaviors for their kids. Volunteering teaches adults and kids alike about compassion, empathy, tolerance, gratitude and community responsibility. Another bonus is that children who volunteer are more likely to continue doing so as adults. Giving the gift of service is an excellent way for moms and daughters to spend quality time together while learning, loving and growing. ■

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