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Doing Good Together Newsletter )
Helping strengthen kids and communities through family volunteerism... December 2009
in this issue
  • Connect to a Cause
  • Foster the Art of Giving
  • Inspiration
  • News From DGT

  • When parents ask me, "How old should my children be to start volunteering with me?" my reply is always the same: "Whatever age they are right now." It's never too early to begin a tradition of giving with your children, and it's never too late to start. That includes infants and toddlers-as our suggestions below demonstrate. It is a great lesson for children to learn the value of integrating service into daily life at an early age.



    Jenny Friedman, Executive Director

    Connect to a Cause
    Volunteer Match

    Make a Difference...

    There are a variety of ways you can volunteer with very young children. For some projects, they can simply tag along and observe, and that's fine. For others, they can contribute their smiles and charm, making the experience richer and more meaningful for those you serve.

  • Friendly visiting: Call the volunteer coordinator at your local nursing home and ask if you could be matched with a senior to visit regularly, or if you and your children can just come by and spend time with the residents. You can bring books or toys to share; these also give the seniors an excuse to interact with your young one.
  • Walk for charity: Pack the kids in the stroller, and make a difference while you yourself get some exercise! Click here to find charity walks near you.
  • Make deliveries: Volunteer for Meals on Wheels, contact your local library about delivering books to patrons who are homebound, or visit volunteermatch.org to find other opportunities for delivering food or other items with your kids.
  • Volunteer from home: For ideas on projects, visit volunteermatch.org and click on "virtual volunteering." Or consider creating crafts for charitable organizations, "adopting" a lonely senior, or becoming a sponsor for the Box Project.
  • Mentor as a family: One idea is to include an adult with intellectual disabilities or an at-risk child in your family's activities several times a month. Visit volunteermatch.org to find a local organization that makes these matches.
  • Foster the Art of Giving
    Because of You by B.G. Hennessey

    Talk About It...

    Although your infant or toddler might not be ready for a meaningful conversation about the value of giving back, that doesn't mean s/he won't benefit from volunteering with you at an early age. Consider this:

  • We don't wait until our children are old enough to understand every word before we begin reading to them. That's because we want them to know as early as possible that reading is valuable - an integral part of a rich life. The same is true with service. Children who volunteer with their parents learn early on that giving to others is valued in your family.
  • As your children grow, you can tell them about the impression they made as a "baby volunteer." They'll love to hear your stories.
  • Even when your children are young, you can help them understand the joy of giving back by describing how their visit to a nursing home or delivering a meal is making others happy. They'll eventually discover that you can make a positive difference in someone's life, even as a 2-year-old.
  • For adults who are taking time off from the paid workforce to care for children, family volunteering enables you to keep your skills sharp and contribute to the community, while spending quality time with your kids.
  • Learn About It...

    A simple book with charming watercolor illustrations, Because of You by B.G. Hennessey (Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2005), delivers a message to young children about the value of doing for others and how good it feels to have others help you.

    Photo: Because of You by B.G. Hennessey

    Inspiration

    I was taught that the world had a lot of problems; that I could struggle and change them; that intellectual and material gifts brought the privilege and responsibility of sharing with others less fortunate; and that service is the rent each of us pays for living -- the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time or after you have reached your personal goals.

    Marian Wright Edelman

    News From DGT

    On behalf of the staff, board and volunteers at Doing Good Together, we wish you all a magical holiday season and a very happy New Year.

    Quick Links...

    phone: 612-822-6502

    5141 16th Avenue South | Minneapolis | MN | 55417

    This email was sent by Maryann Reynolds marsreynolds@gmail.com for doinggoodtogether.org