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How to Make Volunteering a Family Affair

Giving back to our community can benefit both us and our children, a total win-win all around!

Here at Bucks County Parent, we believe that one big way we can all help build community is by giving back to it – and that doing so can benefit both us and our children in the process, a total win-win all around!

Teaching your children to give back through volunteering provides responsibility, social interaction, learning experiences, and much more. According to Parenthood.com, those benefits include: broadening a child’s experience, helping children develop stakes in the community, teaching useful skills, building self-esteem, and teaching children leadership skills, not to mention being a great way to spend time as a family.

But just how do you and your family get started? We recommend having a family pow-pow to discuss what issues are important to you both individually and as a unit. Is one of you an animal lover? Or maybe ensuring that everyone in the Bucks County community has safe, affordable housing feels like the most important challenge to tackle. Whatever the cause, we’re confident there’s an organization nearby just waiting to welcome your family’s help with open arms. So let’s dive in!

A Woman’s Place

1281 Almshouse Road, Doylestown

If ensuring that all Bucks County families feel safe is an important cause to you and your family, try offering your help at A Woman’s Place. As the only domestic violence organization in all of Bucks County, A Woman’s Place (AWP) requires the support of many volunteers. Volunteers can help with various jobs at AWP, including answering the 24-hour hotline, helping out at In Full Swing Thrift in Doylestown, sorting donations, providing administrative support, helping with communications and marketing, leading support groups, providing legal advocacy and court accompaniment to clients, representing AWP at community events, participating in event planning committees and much more! For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit www.awomansplace.org.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Bucks County

2875 York Road, Jamison

These aren’t the Big Brothers and Big Sisters you hear about in Greek life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18. As a volunteer, you can help them develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Bigs and Littles meet twice a month for about two hours and will do various activities that they both agree on. They are seeking individuals interested in becoming mentors. You must be 18 or older, be willing to make a 15 month minimum commitment, and want to help a young person learn to make better decisions. Want to help our next generation achieve success? Contact them today!

Bucks County Housing Group

626 Jacksonville Road, Suite 140, Warminster

The Bucks County Housing Group relies heavily on their volunteers, each week they provide over 200 hours of service at all of their facilities combined! There are many ways to volunteer, and since they have facilities located throughout Bucks County, you won’t have to go far to help! One of the biggest needs right now if food pick up volunteers. These pick ups would require a large SUV or van and involve picking the donation up at the designated time and bringing it to the food pantry to be weighed and put away (volunteers must be must be capable of lifting 40 pounds). All volunteers must complete and submit the Volunteer Application formAuthorization & Agreement forms, and their Pennsylvania Clearances. Email completed forms and necessary paperwork to the designated email address based on the location at which you would like to volunteer.

Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County

539 Jacksonville Road, Warminster

Habitat for Humanity began as a grass-roots effort, and thanks to the commitment of countless volunteers it’s become a movement dedicated to providing safe, decent, affordable homes for families who lack adequate shelter. There are many ways to help, whatever your interests and skill level. Kids aged 14 and under get assigned fun skill-building tasks such as making and serving snacks to volunteers, organizing tool drives, and building planters. All minors must have a parent/guardian signature on their waiver and submit to volunteer@habitatbucks.org before you may self-schedule.

Lulu’s Rescue

4387 W. Swamp Road, #46, Doylestown

This one is for the animal lovers in your family. Lulu’s Rescue’s mission is to end the daily euthanizations of thousands of adoptable dogs in the U.S. Lulu’s is almost entirely a volunteer organization and depends upon the contributions of volunteers to do their life saving work.  No donation of your time is too small, no skill without value. Have you considered volunteering for Lulu’s but didn’t know what you could contribute?  From fostering a dog to working as an advocate to spread the word, the possibilities with Lulu’s rescue are endless!

Quilts for Kids

494 Lincoln Highway, Fairless Hills

Got a crafty grandma that loves to quilt? Quilts for Kids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming fabrics into patchwork quilts to comfort children facing serious illness, trauma, abuse, and natural disasters. You can help by quilting or donating quilting items (they need monetary donations, donations of new 100 percent cotton kid-friendly fabric, sewers and quilters). They also host a workshop on the first Sunday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at headqaurters.

Rolling Harvest Food Rescue

PO Box 693, New Hope

Rolling Harvest Food Rescue delivers fresh produce directly into the hands of the local food-insecure population. If you’ve got teenagers looking to volunteer, Rolling Harvest Food Rescue is looking for individuals ages 14 and older to assist with the pick-up, delivery and occasional harvesting (gleaning) of donated fresh produce and healthy food. Some of their generous suppliers include several New Hope-Lambertville regional farms and grocers; their recipients include local food pantries, community kitchens, shelters and other agencies that serve the at-risk, food-insecure population.

Featured Photo Courtesy of iStock

Calendar Editor & Writer for Bucks County Parent. Email tips to christine@familyfocus.org.

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