Participating in charitable service and volunteering locally not only benefits and strengthens your community, it can also strengthen your family ties. Volunteering is a great way for your family to get active, meet new people and spend quality time together – all while instilling the value of community involvement.
If you’re not sure where to start, ask around. Neighbors, colleagues and friends may have great ideas – and many popular products have launched charitable partnerships that encourage community involvement. One example is The Glad Family of Products and its partnership with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a non-profit organization committed to raising money for pediatric cancer research through local bake sales. The partnership, which began in 2009, has grown into something bigger this year – inspiring and encouraging families to get involved, too.
And now through June 30, families can share their own “Recipe for Giving” – a story, idea or example of how their family gives back with food – at gladtogive.com. Four lucky finalists will be chosen to receive $1,000 and a chance to compete in a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fundraising event for a grand prize trip to the legendary island of Saint Lucia. So if you deliver a homemade pumpkin pie to the local fire station every Thanksgiving or host an annual charitable bake sale, Glad wants to hear from you. Also, starting in May, if you purchase specially-marked Glad products and enter a code online, the company will donate $1 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, up to $200,000.
Here are some other great ideas for cooking up a passion for community service in your family:
* Take inventory of your family’s special skills. If you have an artist in the group, offer painting classes at a local senior center. If you have a musician, plan a charity concert.
* Garage sales are plentiful in the spring and summer. Swing by when things are winding down and offer to help transport unsold items to a local donation center.
* Turn a family hike into a good deed. Bring along plenty of trash bags and clean up a local park or trail.
* Organize a group car wash. In exchange for your car washing services, ask for a donation to a favorite local charity. Have cookies, lemonade and other treats on-hand to sell and boost your fundraising efforts.
* Try a new twist on a traditional cookie exchange. Have neighbors design a custom “cookies and cream” flavor with their own homemade cookies mixed in to ice cream. Swap flavors and then pack up the extras to share with an elderly neighbor. GladWare is perfect for mixing, transporting and freezing ice cream.