It's a growing trend; family vacations that are more than just a vacation. Family getaways that not only offer the opportunity to create phenomenal memories, but truly life changing volunteering experiences that till the collective family consciousness and plant the seeds of gratitude, compassion, awe, generosity, and the responsibilities of global citizenship. The phenomenon has been loosely dubbed "voluntourism" and it has become a more popular choice for many families in recent years.
It must be noted that before you consider embarking on a family adventure that gives you a chance to introduce your children to the "classroom all around them," you should plan to do some substantial research. While both the Sierra Club and Earthwatch have outstanding, informative sites, for the most comprehensive guide to voluntouring you'll want to check out Travelanthropist. Their website offers advice on everything from determining the best destination for your family to how to perform effective pre-trip due-diligence.
As with any trip, be sure to keep the proper perspective and to choose something that will give all the members of your family a chance to feel they have participated; encourage everyone's efforts and use the opportunity to bond in a deep and meaningful way. Safe and happy travels wherever the road may take you!