Author Archives: k8mante

Virtual Volunteering Part Three: 8 Amazing Virtual Volunteer Opportunities for Groups, Offices and Teams

teamwork to help others

 

Volunteering as a team:

  • Is a chance to get to know and appreciate each other on another level. This has ripple effects as it promotes collaboration in the workplace.
  • Gives employees a fresh perspective on positive and productive interaction. It brings teams together on an emotional and personal level.
  • Builds and reveals skills you may not even realize your team members have!
  • Promotes good citizenship. There’s only one Earth and we are its stewards. What future do you want to build? What responsibility is your organization/group/team taking to be responsible members of your community?
  • Inspiring a culture of giving back engages employees, builds employee passion by supporting a sense of purpose, elevates workplace morale
  • Provides an amazing opportunity to develop leadership skills, build problem-solving skills and teaches participants how to be flexible.

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Virtual Volunteering Part TWO: 8 Amazing Ideas for Children and Families

dogs on beach

The dog days of summer are the perfect time to help your child give back by volunteering and participating in charitable activities. There are TONS of opportunities… but who has time to look for the right ones, right?

 

Here is my list of 8 super-fun and super-meaningful opportunities to get children of all ages involved in volunteering.  Each of these ideas are super-easy, can be completed from anywhere at pretty much anytime, and can be done by an individual child, a group of children, or with the whole family – whatever works for you!

Looking for a way to keep kids busy for an afternoon? What about on a rainy day? Looking for something for the kids to do when they visit grandparents? These ideas have your back. They are even great for birthday party activities, boy/girl scout activities and family picnics.

 

Which will be your family favorites?

 

 

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Love in the Face of Tragedy: Volunteering after Unimaginable Acts of Violence

May 31st, 2019…. The words “active shooter” sent ripples of horror through the police radios. A 15-year city employee was on a shooting rampage at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. When it was over, 12 people would be killed (13, including the gunman). Another 4 would be injured.

 

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The VA Beach 12. Lives cut short tragically and violently. Innocent victims cruelly and horribly lost.
When unexpected and unimaginable tragedy hits, the collective community trauma can be devastating. It’s a story we hear far too often: Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Pulse Nightclub, Parkland… the list goes on and on, battering us with grief and loss. 
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Serving Friday Mission Lunch in Paris, France

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It was a beautiful, sunny morning in Paris as I walked along the Seine. It was my birthday and I was completely excited to be spending it in the city of lights!

 

Across the river, the Eiffel Tower’s wrought iron latticework gracefully sparkled in the sun. Below me I could spy on picturesque houseboats moored along the banks of the river and wondered what it would be like to vacation on one of them.

 

Tourist cameras were already snapping wildly as trinket vendors (les bouquinistes) began to set up their tiny stalls along the bridges.

 

I was heading towards the American Cathedral in Paris – on Avenue George V, in the heart of this wealthy tourist mecca – to begin my shift at their Mission Lunch.

 

250px-American_Cathedral_in_Paris_LogoEvery Friday, 64 homeless and/or poor guests come for a hot, 3-course meal and dessert served by volunteers in a restaurant atmosphere.

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Virtual Volunteering Part 1: Amazing Ideas for Individuals!

virtual volunteeringDo you want to volunteer but can’t seem to fit it into your busy schedule or can only do it at odd hours? Are you looking for a way to give back that lets you do it when, where and how it best works for you? Do you have mobility/ability challenges that prevent you from traveling to various locations to volunteer? I have solutions for you!

Join me in exploring amazing volunteer opportunities that work whenever, wherever and however volunteering works best for you!

 

Today’s post is Part 1 of a 3-post series exploring all sorts of alternative volunteering ideas designed to work with any schedule and availability. Part 1 focuses on amazing ideas for individuals. Part 2 will focus on opportunities for families and Part 3 will focus on opportunities for groups.

 

Now, let’s get started… the world NEEDS YOU!  Read more

Habitat for Humanity South Hampton Roads (Norfolk, VA): Changing lives through the ReStore

meThere was time to read through several homeowner stories as I waited for the volunteer shift to start at the Habitat for Humanity South Hampton Roads ReStore (HFH-SH) in Norfolk, VA.

 

I learned of single moms working multiple jobs to make enough to put food on the table and care for their children.

 

I read a story of a family forced out of their apartment by rent increases. Another family struggled to move to a safe neighborhood to get away from gun violence and drug gangs. One family, unable to secure affordable financing, was forced to live with relatives in crowded conditions. Read more

The Environmental Defense Center: 50 Years of Protection, Advocacy and Education

Me at the gate

 

Pockets of rain passed overhead on the 2 mile walk to the Environmental Defense Center’s (EDC) headquarters in Santa Barbara, California. It is impossible to ignore the breathtaking beauty of the area… even in the rain.

 

Behind me spread peaceful, wide beaches, shaped by the waves of thousands of years. Before me rose the undulating foothills of the imposing and majestic Santa Ynez Mountains, its tops hidden by thick shreds of clouds. Santa Barbara is nestled here, in this oasis. Read more

Sleeping on the Streets in Solidarity with the Homeless: New York City Relief and Liquid Church

home sweet homeAt just about 2:00 a.m. Danielle and I realized our roof was leaking. We’d been battling the rain for the past two hours, huddled inside our cardboard shelter with a dusty tarp as our ceiling. It was 50 degrees and everything around us had slowly become wet as the rain seeped in – our blankets, our clothes.

 

A bit exhausted and definitely uncomfortable, we made the decision to dismantle our section of the cardboard city and head inside to the church atrium. Over 575 people had come to participate in Liquid Church’s Homeless Church event. Read more

Walk for Team Walker: Supporting Jersey City, NJ Inner City Youth

Jerry walker editedJerry Walker is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to protecting, supporting and encouraging his students to succeed in life! A four-time High School All American and collegiate basketball standout and a product of the tough city streets of Jersey City, he returned to his Jersey City community to found TEAM WALKER in 1996.

 

As with many mid-sized cities in America, Jersey City, New Jersey (pop. Close to 250,000) is undergoing a revitalization. Certain areas have been reclaimed and rebuilt with skyscrapers full of businesses and world headquarters, fancy new apartments and condos, green parks and great views of the water and the NYC skyline. The change-over in those areas have displaced long-term, low-income families and manufacturing plants. Woven between these pockets of glitter and glam are a mix of middle-class neighborhoods and old-city streets with dilapidated houses and high levels of poverty and crime. Read more

Fighting Hunger with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore

Official logo

Volunteering while traveling allows you to peek behind the curtain of a community to get to know its inner heart. It provides a uniquely un-touristy look at the local culture through the eyes of residents who are passionate about supporting, protecting and enhancing their corner of the world and the humanness that exists within it. For a brief moment in time you participate in their story and become part of the strength, compassion and resilience which makes their community thrive. Read more

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