Category Archives: General Awareness

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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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

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

Week 52: Volunteering at the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana

My legs and back were stiff from sitting on the ground for the last hour, but there was no room to stretch or move in the tiny sweat lodge full as it was with tribesmen/women and invited guests.

 

I had never been in a place so dark. Covered with branches and then thick blankets, absolutely no light entered the space. The air was humid and thick enough that you felt you were breathing in gel. Read more

Week 51: Mane Stream – Helping Children with Disabilities through Equine Therapy

logoThose who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves” reads a quote in the volunteer kit. I was reading up ahead of my scheduled day at Mane Stream, an adaptive horsemanship and equine therapy center in Oldwick, NJ. I would quickly learn that Mane Stream was much more than a therapeutic program. It is a community of joy and healing. The special staff, therapists and volunteers who work at Mane Stream light up the lives of their patients and their families.

 

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Week 47: Helping our Children Build a Better Tomorrow

kids earth heart

 

One day in the not too distant future the world will belong to our children. They will make decisions on the environment, policies on poverty and social services, and be responsible for making decisions about resources, war, and peace.  They will be the problem-solvers (and problem-creators) responsible for the well-being of future generations.

 

How can we support our children and young adults so they become their best selves in a global society? How can we fuel within them a sense of service and civic engagement? How can we expand their minds to include causes bigger than themselves?

 

Most importantly, how can we help them develop the resolve and confidence they will need so they believe without a shadow of doubt they can make a difference, effect change, and improve the world?

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Week 46: NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking: Fighting for the Victims

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The speaker stood up at the front of the auditorium….

Several times a year our group goes into local cities and towns and asks,Who are your missing children?We get their names and photos, then make posters of these children.”

 

(She holds up one of the posters with the faces of at least 15 children on it)

 

We then stop at motels and hotels” she continued, “and ask the staff, ‘Have you seen any of these faces?’”

 

EVERY TIME we’ve done this we’ve had at least one rescue. Sometimes several. The children are usually going by different names, but we always find someone who recognizes at least one and it allows us to start to work towards finding them and rescuing them.”

 

These children… they are typically between the ages of 12 and 16. These cities and towns? …. They are in New Jersey….

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