The discussion takes place over and over again, at school, at work, on the neighborhood listservs and at Giving Circle meetings….“What community service activities can I do with my family? How do I show my children serving others in our community is important to me?”
It can be hard to find events appropriate for family groups and young children. Sometimes the events organized at school or in the community don’t fit into your schedule. So how does one create a habit of helping in ourselves and in our families?
Giving Circle Families are finding a way — DIY community service. The concept:
- Don’t wait for a larger organization to plan something for you, do something fun on your own. This could be a lemonade or other fundraiser stand, a collection drive, or an activity like the Baskets for Books event the Giving Circle did last year.
- Incorporate your activity into something you are already doing, such as a birthday party, sports team party, book club meeting, etc.
- Procedures for DIY community service events live on a new page at the Giving Circle web site to make it easy. This page also includes organizations, needs and contact information so you can get started right away. Look for it under the What You Can Do menu option.
I promise your children and your friends will have fun with this. Last year, my daughter celebrated her birthday by asking her friends to bring toiletries to give to Community Lodgings and beautifully packaging these items at her birthday party. Then one of her friends was inspired to do something similar for her birthday. This summer, Hannah Maher-Miller gave up two days of a beach vacation to do a fundraiser for the Animal Welfare League and raise a lot of money! There are a lot of happy stories already because people, children too, are willing to take some initiative to make a difference.
As with our financial gifts, together we do more. If each of us does a small bit for community service with our families a few times a year, it adds up to a lot of help for neighbors in need. So don’t wait for a service activity to come along, make your own, you’ll be glad you did.
Any questions or ideas for other DIY activities? Have you organized a community service event for your family or group of friends? Email me, Christine Labrecque and tell me your story.