Thanks for ideas!
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We've set up a spin off group from our homeschool group of families interested in community action activities. We just started in September and have done a peace day program, a shoreline clean up, a baking day for a Thanksgiving shelter dinner, packing Thanksgiving food boxes and we are gathering this week to make wool squares to send to a blankets of African Aids Orphans project. I've found for us having a group of friends who are interested in being involved has made it easier to do certain types of programs and volunteer commitments and it means that there are families that my kids know and will take direction from if I am busy with another kid - more hands on deck sorts of things. A lot of this stuff I organize through community connections or are opportunities we have found online and have turned into a group thing by gathering to do them together.
It can be challenging to find groups willing to take on the energy of children volunteers. Our best successes have been an organization which packs boxes (food and hygiene) as well as does a number of First Nations outreach programs. The other thing we have worked well with is a volunteer based nursery where the kids do lots of activities with the seedlings and trees.
Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha
This week our co-op is doing a hometown helper theme. The kids are coming to the group with a problem they know of in their community. Together the kids will brainstorm a solution that the child can carry out him/herself. For example, my son noticed last year that the diving board squeeks and the paint is chipping at our pool. He also found out that the drain needs to be replaced. But, the pool fund does not have enough money to fix it. So, he and his friends will think of ways they can help.
I work from SON up to SON down!
We pick up garbage from local parks or on the sidewalks as we go on walks, bake baked goods for bake sales (fund raising for local organizations, good causes,etc.), and consider how we can help individuals with things they may need help with (shoveling snow, picking up items from a store, helping people move, etc.) instead of getting involved in a place where I and the younger 3 may be too much in the way and slow down the pace of things where the older two could probably help out.
As my crew gets older, it is a goal of mine to do some sort of public community service on a regular basis where we can all truley be a big help. I want to develop a heart of service in my kids, but I do think that can be developed by helping individuals as opposed to always doing something public... Just incase you're concerned about the little one 'being in the way' as I am with my youngest 3!
Last time we did litter pickup, and the time before, we hauled and shoveled mulch and raked it into a new hiking path. Awesome.