autumn days

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

volunteering with children

Growing up as a volunteer and hearing of my parents' many volunteer projects, my mind has been on volunteering for the last six months.  It took that long for me to find a way to volunteer with these two young children that are always at my side (when not on my lap).

This afternoon, with a toddler strapped to my back and a talkative preschooler at my side, we tried our hand at volunteering.  Once we got to the right building, we talked and listened and sorted and counted and helped fill hundreds of grafting kits for Portland Fruit Tree Project.  This local organization helps with all things tree related, gleans unwanted fruits from trees, and shares half their produce with the Oregon Food Bank.  While there, both kids and I had a grand time.  Hannah counted out endless tree ties and q-tips for kits while Liam socialized and played with film canisters.  We met some nice new people, practiced our math skills, ate some delicious chili cherry chocolate, and helped an extraordinary organization.

It is so invigorating to finally get out to volunteer when I've been looking forward to it for so long.  For us, volunteering has moved from a possibility to a reality.  The next step will be to find more organizations that will appreciate the hands of small children.  Once we get the hang of volunteering, we will invite friends to join us.  The inspirations and possibilities are endless.  I'd love to hear about how you volunteer with small children in your community, dear reader.

Volunteer Opportunities for Children:
Portland Fruit Tree Project
Oregon Food Bank
Children's Book Bank: donating and organizing books
SOLV tree planting: bring kid gloves, some locations safe for smaller children
Meals on Wheels: making place mats or art to be delivered with meals
Growing Gardens: children at our sides while volunteering
Retirement homes: share time, crafts, art

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