Making time to do volunteer work is important, but it's always hard to find the time. The easiest way to make it a priority is to get your child involved -- you'll bond as you help out in the community. If you already have a cause that your family cares about, find a way to include your child. He can help you plant trees in a local park or hand out water at a 5K race. If your child has a talent or an interest, brainstorm a way to use it: Could her dance class perform their routine at the nursing home? Thinking small can also have a big impact: Walking your elderly neighbor's dog will make a difference in his life. Through volunteering, your child will learn an important lesson about helping others.
Need to find a charity to donate your time or money to? Check out charitynavigator.org. The site has an excellent rating system, and you can easily find local and national groups by cause.
Originally published in the July 2008 issue of Parents magazine.