Family Volunteer Opportunities
One of my goals for the upcoming year has been to create more volunteer opportunities my family can participate in. I’ve always been very active in my community and the joys I get out doing so are immense. The challenge is often finding the opportunities my kids can join in on or at least be a part of in some way so that they can also feel the joys of giving back to their communities and making a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate than – let’s face it – they are.
We started our mission to give back as a family by collectively donating used toys and clothes to our local Goodwill, daycare facilities, foster care programs and schools. It was a bit of a surprise for them at first, but the kids seemed to really enjoy doing so and actually got into the spirit of giving and helping others. The goal now is to keep that momentum going for them and for us as a family.
That’s why I’m so proud to partner with COUNTRY Financial, who has been diligent about doing good in local communities and helping people live better lives. COUNTRY Financial sponsors a community grant program for nonprofit organizations in many of the local communities they serve, including Atlanta, Chicago, Portland and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Over the past decade, they’ve awarded more than $2 million to nonprofit organizations with programs that are improving the financial security of families, including the following 2017-2018 Grant Recipients right here in my hometown of Atlanta:
100 Black Men of Atlanta
Reaching out to the African American youth community and their parents in Atlanta, 100 Black Men launched Project Success, a post-secondary preparation, mentoring, and tuition assistance program. This initiative teaches financial literacy through wealth building classes, home ownership lessons, and investment strategies.
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity
In support of working families and single parents, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity builds affordable, environmentally friendly, quality homes and provides support services that promote successful home purchase and ownership. Their Homeowner Education program, Home Smart, is a comprehensive program that teaches Atlanta Habitat homeowners to save money and make smart financial decisions, become more involved in their children’s education, and be active within their neighborhood associations and communities.
ClearPoint Financial Solutions
This Atlanta organization launched the Hispanic Center for Financial Excellence (HCFE) aimed at providing first-,second-, and third-generation Spanish-speaking immigrants with financial literacy education and long-term advice and support. The HCFE is focused on helping people build assets, expand buying power, and manage financial risk.
HomeStretch Transitional Housing Program
This Atlanta organization guides homeless working families toward self-reliance and stability. HomeStretch promotes financial literacy and enhancement of job-related skills to achieve four goals: stable housing, finances, employment, and families.
Urban League of Greater Atlanta
Project Ready, a financial literacy and career readiness program provided by the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, motivates underserved low-income students to complete their high-school education to pursue education and careers in high-growth and high-demand fields. The Project Ready Parent Financial Empowerment Academy offers 12 workshops on employment, financial literacy, homeownership and entrepreneurship.
Warrick Dunn Charities
Homes for the Holidays (HFTH) is a program provided by Atlanta’s Warrick Dunn Charities (WDC) which supports economically disadvantaged single parents to help them achieve financial independence. Their initiative, Count on Your Future, promotes single parent participation in investment accounts through a series of seminars.
In addition to these wonderful Atlanta charity organizations, here are some other really good family volunteer opportunities to take part in:
- Volunteer at a food bank in your community – this may be harder to secure with larger organizations, but check with your local church to find a program.
- Collect gently used books to donate to children in local hospitals, shelters, or overseas organizations such as Books for Africa.
- Pick up litter at a local park
- Gather clothing you no longer need from around your home and donate it to charity
- Have your kids set up a lemonade stand to raise money for charity
- Help take care of animals at a local shelter
- Take part in community walks that are suitable for the whole family, such as the annual Autism Walk or Breast Cancer Walks
- Assemble care packages for local homeless shelters
- Take part in the Holidays for Heroes program at the Red Cross to make and decorate holiday cards for soldiers overseas
- Adopt a family for the Holidays and have your kids help shop for the family.
These are just a few family volunteer opportunities, but whatever you choose, the main goal is to encourage that love and spirit of giving in your kids early on.
What family volunteer opportunities does your family take part in?
This post is sponsored by COUNTRY Financial. All opinions are mine alone.