Raising Good Citizens…Getting Involved In Your Community!

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Getting involved in the community is a big priority for us. We are bound and determined to teach our kids
to be good citizens! Sometimes it can feel like an overwhelming thing to teach a child. But teaching volunteerism is done best just like every other teaching moment…by example!
Here are some of the ways we get involved with giving back to the community. I’d love to hear yours too! 
The obvious places to check for help are your local food shelf and your church. There are always needs waiting to be met there. I have found some great opportunities in my local newspaper. Check yours out to see if they list volunteer needs. And if they do not? Request it!
One organization always asking for help in our paper is the Ronald McDonald House.
If you live anywhere near a hospital, there is probably a McD house nearby. They house families with seriously ill children in the hospital and are always in need of food for their guests. We went with a group from our Church and prepared a meal. It was fun to cook together, especially knowing what a blessing it would be to those staying there. When you are tired and weary and emotionally drained with a child in the hospital, a free warm meal is a wonderfully practical blessing. This is a great project to do with older kids who can help prepare food and cook.
Habitat for Humanity is another great organization to get involved in. It’s not really something you can do with kids until they are older. But while my husband helps out it is a great chance to explain to my boys that giving up their Daddy for a few hours on a Saturday so some kids can have a house is really a pretty small sacrifice.
 Since hurricane Irene came roaring through the East Coast causing wide spread flooding in Vermont, we have had a very large need for volunteers in our communities to the south. Thanks to one of my lovely local twitter friends, Sarah, a website was started to connect people who needed help with people who wanted to give help. It has been amazing to watch Vermonters come together and help one another on such a large scale. Much more help is needed and will be for some time! vtresponse.com is the perfect example of jumping in and doing what you can with what you have. Everyone can be involved in some way and on some level! If you see a need and you know how to fill it? DO IT!

Find more ways to help Vermont by following them on twitter @vtresponse and the hashtag #vtresponse.

During the past week I was able to help at the Vermont 211 call center. When there is a natural disaster or other local emergency, your state’s 211 call center is going to get very busy and very likely will need some extra help. You can find out how to help out with that and many other ways to get involved in your community in non-emergency times by connecting with The United Way.
My son’s school is running penny wars to raise money for families affected by the floods. It is a really easy way to get a large group of kids involved in donating money. Kids can scrounge up pennies pretty easily. And pennies can add up to a lot of dollars! They sabotage the other classes by donating dollars and other change. It was so fun!
Another great way to get your kids involved is to donate toys and clothes. This works out great because you get to clean out your closets and your kids get to learn how to give to others! Just be sure to only donate items
that are in good condition and toys that are like-new and have all their pieces. While reading through some of the needs on vtresponse.com, I saw one woman asking for shoes for her kids. All their shoes were ruined in the water and muck from the flooding and they can’t just run down to the store to get some new ones. This is the perfect example of how a child can help. I guarantee if you explain that situation to your child, they will be more than happy to give up a pair of shoes to help out! Find simple opportunities like this for your child to help with. Make it personal. Paint a picture for them and help them understand just how blessed they are. 
Kids are tenderhearted. They will act. We could learn a lot from their examples too! 
Giving back is a healthy way to show gratitude for what you’ve been blessed with. Get out there and get involved. Your community needs you!

Don’t forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

*Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are honestly and truly mine. All mine.

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