Thursday, February 17, 2011

Give Back!

Today a Facebook friend asked if anyone had any volunteering ideas for her children. Volunteering is something I have always love to do whether it was just helping someone out or actually volunteering my time to an organization.

Our first volunteer experience began when my oldest daughter, now 14, was around five years old. We volunteered for a program that raised funds for the the AIDS Council of North Eastern New York.

"The AIDS Council’s Help Fight AIDS Through Books & Music project is a completely volunteer-driven program that sells new and gently-used books, music, and movies as well as entertainment books and plush animals to raise money to support the AIDS Council’s client Services Emergency Fund. Now in its 18th year, Help Fight AIDS Through Books & Music has raised more than $500,000 in net funds to support people living with HIV/AIDS. For more information, log on to: "

This experience was really rewarding because we do have a loved one that is an active client of the program. We need to do what we can to raise awareness and teach our youth about this disease that is devastating to our communities.

We have also been involved with feeding the homeless and feeding the community. We plan to do 7 acts of charity throughout the year and we will keep that updated right here.

Here are a few other options for youth volunteering:
  1. Volunteer Match
    Volunteer Match is an online recruitment tool. Organizations are able to list the services they need assistance with and volunteers are able to search and find the volunteer opportunities they are interested in.
    "VolunteerMatch is a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities by helping good people and good causes to connect. Its award-winning online service,, makes it easy to find a way to make a difference by location, expertise, or availability. VolunteerMatch provides many of the nation’s most recognized businesses and organizations with Web-based solutions to
    facilitate and track volunteer engagement at local and national levels."

  2. Youth Volunteer Corps of America
    Youth Volunteer Corps of America allows young people work together
    to make a positive change in our community. The program has allowed yuth from ages 11-18 to serve their communities since 1987.

  3. Youth Assisting Youth
    Youth Assisting Youth is a non-profit charitable organization that provides a peer mentoring service to improve life prospects for at risk and newcomer children. YAY matches children aged 6-15 with trained and dedicated Youth Volunteers aged 16-29 who act as positive role models. Since 1976 YAY has helped more than 20,000 young people.

  4. Do Something
    " is one of the largest organizations in the US that helps young people rock causes they care about. A driving force in creating a culture of volunteerism, is on track to activate two million young people in 2011. By leveraging the web, television, mobile, and pop culture, inspires, empowers and celebrates a generation of doers: teenagers who recognize the need to do something, believe in their ability to get it done, and then take action."

  5. United We Serve
    United We Serve is a nationwide service initiative that helps meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn. is your online resource for not only finding volunteer opportunities in your community, but also creating your own.

These are all some really great organizations. Check them out and see where you fit in. I have two organizations I want to work with this year.

The first is Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. Their Mission is to raise money and awareness of childhood cancer causes, primarily research into new treatments and cures and to encourage and empower others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer. Please visit the website to learn a little about Alex's story.

The second is Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup.

"Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup, the nation's largest community improvement program, takes place annually from March 1 through May 31, involving an estimated 3 million volunteers and attendees. The hardworking volunteers donated more than 5.7 million hours in 2010 to clean, beautify and improve more than 33,000 communities during more than 30,000 events in all 50 states and beyond. Activities included beautifying parks and recreation areas, cleaning seashores and waterways, handling recycling collections, picking up litter, planting trees and flowers, and conducting educational programs and litter-free events. "

What will you do this year to give back? Feel free to leave a comment! Best Blogger Tips
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