We’ve done our fair share of putting our feet up this summer. It’s time to walk the walk. I’ve been talking the talk on Philanthroparent about ways families can serve this summer, and now it’s time to put some things into action for ourselves. This will be our first attempt at creating PhilanthroTot summer service opportunities. I’m excited to share what we’ll be up to in the next few months!
When considering ways to get out and give this summer, my first criteria was something toddler friendly. My 20-month-old’s favorite summer pastime seems to be wandering. I can’t guarantee the quality of my effectiveness at any of these events. I’m going to try to be of the mind frame that simply being present is still a valid way to support a cause.
My second criteria to help define our summer of service was to consider social issues that are important to members of my family. In this case, I considered options that wouldn’t involve my daughter if the opportunity just didn’t fit a toddler’s schedule. I’ll use this as a chance to start my commitment to leading by example.
This summer will be about developing connections with organizations and discovering experiences that might turn into a longer commitment down the road. While my toddler is very opinionated on many things (like snack choices and which direction to walk), it is still too early to tell what social issues she will gravitate towards. In the meantime, we’re going to expose her to a variety of different activities (and hopefully make some change along the way).
Our Summer of Service
TM @ 10 with Big Sunday: This gathering occurs weekly (Thursdays at 10am) and encourages volunteers of all ages. People come to Big Sunday’s headquarters and participate in service projects supporting a variety of organizations throughout Los Angeles. It will give us an opportunity to try many different ways of helping. For example, one week we’ll be decorating flower pots for a senior care center, and the next week delivering them to residents. The following week we’ll get to make PB&J sandwiches for a local food bank.
The Gentle Barn: On Sundays, this organization is open to the public. They host a presentation about the care they provide to rescued farm animals. While we won’t be volunteering that day, it is a chance to get to know the organization’s needs and find out if there is a toddler friendly opportunity for us. This could be a great way to introduce our daughter to the cause of animal welfare. They even have a volunteer opportunity to hug a cow!
Meals on Wheels: My grandparents have been volunteering for this organization every Monday since I can remember. They deliver meals prepared at a local hospital to housebound seniors in need of food assistance. I’m going to ride along with them one Monday- a great chance to support their efforts and find out more about this organization. This activity will be toddler free since it coincides with nap time.
I’d like to contact instructors for my daughter’s classes and see if any would be interested in partnering to host one of our sessions (or the entire class series) at a senior center or care facility this fall. I think this could be a unique and valuable opportunity to promote intergenerational connections and serve our senior community.