|Doing Good Together Newsletter|
In these tough economic times, news stories make it clear how quickly any one of us could require community assistance because of job loss, family illness or another unforeseen event. Everywhere it's apparent that we all are both givers and receivers of help. This fact should inspire us to contribute what we can to those who are struggling. Get in the habit now of making service to others part of your family's DNA.
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
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Photo: Reach Out and Give
The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him, "What are you going through?"
Earlier this month, a dozen Head Start families from the Minneapolis metro area gathered for a rousing night of service. The event, sponsored by Doing Good Together and Anoka/Washington County Head Start, focused around four "stations," each offering a simple, hands-on service-learning project for the kids and their families. By the end of the evening, families had decorated 25 placemats for the local Meals on Wheels program, made 42 cards for two chronically ill children, made seven fleece blankets for children in need, and made 200 sandwiches for a homeless shelter.
The families also contributed to a Valentine collage. They wrote or drew on a cut-out heart about a time they were been helped by others, a time they made a difference in other people's lives, and how it feels to be both a giver and a receiver.
The project represents the Doing Good Together commitment to taking the message of family service to diverse communities. Prompted by a list of questions provided at each station, families spent time talking with their children about the importance of helping others, and the difference their work that evening would make in the lives of people who are homeless, sick or in need of comfort. Most parents agreed that the best part of the evening was the chance to spend time with their children giving back to the community. "The event was a great success," says Gerri Webster, Family Development Coordinator for Anoka/Washington County Head Start. "We could read the enjoyment of adults and children as they moved from activity to activity. As they left, many parents commented on what a positive experience it was for their family."
Photos: Head Start families at Doing Good Together service night
Twin Cities residents are invited to join us at the Mall of America for the Hands On Twin Cities Volunteer Expo, Saturday, February 21, anytime between 10 am and 3 pm. It's a gathering of over 100 local nonprofits that can tell you about the volunteer opportunities available in the Twin Cities. There's something for young and old, friends and families, neighborhood and workplace groups, faith organizations and more. It's a rare chance to discover a volunteer job that stirs you. Be sure to visit the Doing Good Together booth!