When I first joined the National Military Family Association as a Volunteer, I didn’t think I would be able to contribute very much since I stay home full-time with my two toddlers. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been to give back to the military community even with tiny humans in tow.
You may think you have to choose between staying at home with little ones and volunteering in the community, but the NMFA allows you to do both! There are even virtual volunteer opportunities, as well as community engagement events that can easily fit a busy parent’s schedule.
So, where do you start?
- Facebook Groups. This is a great way to start since you already have an online network of military spouses and parents. Engage in conversations, pose questions and look for trends to report.
- Playgroups. Look for local playgroups in your area. Most likely, there are military family playgroups as well as civilian groups in your community. Introduce yourself and bring some materials to hand out to the group, or start your own group!
- Military Housing. Housing is a great way to get the word out about NMFA. Welcome new neighbors with helpful resources and place brochures in the leasing office. If your housing community has a monthly newsletter, ask if you can include a piece on NMFA. Also, find out about any potential table events or expos that would have participation available. Even if you don’t live in housing, you can still contact the office manager or events coordinator at your local military housing office. They are always looking for new resources for their residents!
- Military Installations. Head to your local military installation and drop off some literature to other military organizations. A few suggestions would be: Fleet and Family Services, USO, and Youth and Teen Centers.
- Local Spots. Think about spots you already frequent with your kids: coffee shops, frozen yogurt shops, libraries, museums, parks, children’s events, etc. Keep a bag of supplies in your car and drop off materials during your weekly visits.
The National Military Family Association provides all the tools you need to succeed as a Volunteer. I love that I am able to stay easily connected to my Volunteer Manager, as well as the entire volunteer team through emails, phone calls, webinars, and Facebook. And the best part? I can achieve my volunteer goals while spending time with my kids!
Have you considered joining the NMFA Volunteer Corps? It’s the perfect time!
Posted by Amanda Schwenk, National Military Family Association Volunteer, San Diego, CA