One of the great things me and my child do often is give back to the community. We have been given so much and helped along the way that I feel that paying it forward is a great way to show our gratitude. We started volunteering when he was about 4 years old and we are lucky to live in Atlanta where there are so many opportunities to serve others. If you are in the Atlanta area please check out the following organizations that allow you to volunteer with your children
Open Hand Atlanta: It’s about doing the right thing. Because many of our friends and neighbors cannot afford proper nutrition, some are too sick to prepare their own meals, and thousands of others are at risk for chronic disease simply because of their diets.. www.projectopenhand.org You and your kids can deliver meals to those in need or work in the kitchen packing meals to be distributed out
Hands on Atlanta: Hands On Atlanta helps individuals, families, corporate and community groups strengthen Greater Atlanta through service at more than 400 nonprofit organizations and schools. Hands On Atlanta volunteers are at work every day of the year tutoring and mentoring children, helping individuals and families make pathways out of poverty, improving Atlanta’s environment, and more. Hands On Atlanta is an affiliate of the HandsOn Network, an association of 250 volunteer service organizations across 16 countries.http://www.handsonatlanta.org/HOC__Affiliate_Home_Page
Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta: Whether you are searching for a rewarding and special way to spend your time or looking for ways to renew your commitment to children, the patients and families at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta need you. Because we believe “every child needs a friend,” our volunteers are called “Friends.” For the children and families who need the high-quality care Children’s provides, the difference our volunteers make is immeasurable http://www.choa.org/Support-Childrens/Volunteering
OTHER WAYS TO GIVE BACK
- Donate old clothes or toys to children’s shelters, women’s shelters or to those in need. You don’t even have to load up your car! A lot of charities will pick up from your home. Just set the boxes out and they will take care of the rest. (A good tip: i used to tell my son he had to make rooms for birthday presents or help the children during Christmas who weren’t going to get presents. He is empathetic and jumps the chance so i’ts not a battle)
Need an idea where to start? here are a few helpful links
- Collect Newspapers and old towels: Love animals? A lot of animal shelters are in need of newspapers and old towels or blankets to line their crates or comfort their animals. Call your local shelter and ask if there is a need!
- Care packages for the troops:Operation Gratitude annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to express their appreciation to members of our Military. Each package contains donated product valued at $75-100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than One Million Care Packages. http://www.operationgratitude.com/
- Visit a Senior Living Facility. We have done this several times to play BINGO and make crafts. Most places welcome visitors and love children. Its a great way to honor amazing citizens in your community and a valuable way to learn history.
- Canned food drive: You can donate canned food items to your local food bank or check to see if they need help sorting donations
There are so many great ideas to give back- i could go on and on! Please share any ideas you have and ill update this – also id love to see pictures of you volunteering. Lets spread the Love!