"As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way." - Mary Ann Radmacher
What Do Boston, May and PGK Have in Common?
By Rachel Hanebutt, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, PGK-Boston
There are so many great service activities that you can do with your kids during the month of May in Boston. Check out our list of 5 great activities that you can do this month, some without leaving your home!
On May 10th, from 5:30-7:30 PM, you can help by checking toys, folding and shelving baby clothes, and organizing our client space so that it stays beautiful for the families served. Room to Grow is a nonprofit organization that provides families in poverty with individualized parenting support, information and guidance, as well as all of the baby items parents need for their growing baby during their first three years of life. Your family can help sort
Do your kids love nature? Volunteering with Friends of the Blue Hills is a great way to help them to learn more about conservation of wildlife and natural environments. It only takes about 2-4 hours of your time. You will enjoy music, face painting, crafts and a scavenger hunt while helping with an essential task: pulling up invasive weeds that threaten the Blue Hills. They provide everything you need.
3. Visit Animals at the MSPCA.
Especially with younger children, it can be hard to volunteer on a regular basis. However, your family can visit a local animal shelter, such as the MSPCA, to visit and play with homeless animals. You might even find yourself giving an animal in need a forever home!
4. Help Save Nature with Emerald Necklace.
Spring has finally sprung and your family can keep Boston Commons looking great by working to at Emerald Necklace Conservancy to help remove Invasive plants, the plants that take over a forest. When you help remove invasive plants, you help make sure that native trees will grow and stay strong, and that the birds, insects and other animals that live in them will stay in the park too.
5. Celebrate Memorial Day by Hosting a Cell Phone Drive for Soldiers.
Summertime is a great time to teach your kids about how to run their own goods drive to collect unwanted or gently-used items. Collecting cell phones for soldiers is a great way to teach them about technology, donating, and the armed forces, all at once! For more information about how to host your own drive, check out our “how to” description on the PGK website.
There is not a shortage of options of great service activities to do with your kids this May in Boston! Find the causes that your kids care about on the PGK website by using our activity finder: http://projectgivingkids.org/activitiespage/.
Why It Really Matters
By Wendy Thurmond, PGK Board Member and Mom of Three
The days of making sure they are asleep on their backs, cutting their food into tiny pieces and snapping their onesies are sadly over. Little kids, little problems. One of my biggest worries now, is making sure my kids have a conscience. On a recent trip to Miami, I was in awe of how many young girls spent a considerable amount of time on the beach taking so called selfies. As opposed to being in the moment, they seemed more concerned with how they would look on social media. I immediately thought, how do I make sure that’s not my kids in 6 years?
For much of my life I have volunteered, to help others and to also take the focus off of me. Giving back wasn't as easy when my kids were really little. Once they hit elementary school I felt they were ready to give back, the problem was finding places that allowed them to volunteer at a young age. A friend mentioned Project Giving Kids, an interactive way to connect kids to causes. I fell in love with the concept, not only for its convenience, but for its commitment to helping raise kids to be better humans. Studies show kids who volunteer are more likely to feel connected with their communities, and less likely to engage in risky behavior, such as drug use. The non-profit Child Trends found kids who volunteer are much more likely to graduate from college than their peers. The evidence on the benefits of volunteering at a young age is abundant.
I sing the praises of Project Giving Kids to friends, colleagues and even strangers, any chance I get. The cause seems to resonate with everyone. Those people have in turn gone to the site, registered and gotten their children involved. Old fashioned interaction has allowed me to hear from kids first hand about how, where and when they want to volunteer. Kids talk to other kids about what they have done, and they too want to be a part of the action. In this world of constant stimulation, staying relevant isn't easy. As long as we at PGK continue to spread our wings and bring more phenomenal non-profits onboard, I believe the kids will come, but we depend on parents to be the facilitators.
Ego is the latin word for self. I always tell my kids too much ego is never a good thing. Volunteering will never go out of style, but I hope selfies will. To react to the outside world, you have to pay attention to it. When you are always pointing the camera at yourself, it’s hard to see what’s going on around you. PGK has allowed my kids to see a small sliver of the real world; some parents spend weeks in hotels while their child undergoes cancer treatment, some kids can’t afford soccer cleats, and some elderly people never get a birthday card. PGK has helped take the focus off of us, and put it on those in need. A priceless education. Sure, I take plenty of cell phone shots of my kids volunteering, but the focus is on what they are doing, not what they look like.
National Volunteer Month - How Will You Make A Difference This April?
Celebrate National Volunteer Month, Register with PGK!
Like volunteering, registering on the PGK website is totally free! Also like volunteering, registering with PGK can help your kids in their own development as well as cultivate empathy for others. While there are many reasons you should register your kids on the PGK site, here are three great perks of registering that can help you and your kids make the most of not just National Volunteer Month but every month!
1. Keeping Track of Service - Giving back for the sake of helping others is great (and the reason why we should all do it). But in a world where being able to keep track of the things your kids do is increasingly important, PGK makes quantifying their service activities easy - great for honors programs, after-school job applications, scholarship applications, etc.
2. Earning Points for Activities - Registering as a PGK Kid can connect your kid with other kids by allowing them to join a team and score points for doing fun, age-appropriate service activities. And who doesn't like to score points and earn (virtual) trophies?!
3. Getting Updates from PGK! - From PGK’s newsletter to updates about new projects and activities, registering on the PGK site gives you VIP access to the latest PGK updates and news!
So this April, consider registering your kids on the Project Giving Kids website. Keep track of the ways they give back and expose them to how fun service can be! Got questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wondering how to register? It just takes 3 easy steps!
1. Visit: projectgivingkids.org/register;
2. Create your profile;
3. Find activities and document your kids’ service activities.