Holiday Volunteering with Kids in NJ
2012 has certainly had its ups and downs. Sandy hit close to home, too close for many members of our NJ family. My family lost power for eight days and our entire family dynamic shifted, putting life back into perspective. As "Jersey Strong!" works towards recovering, take the time to teach your children about giving back. Not only will volunteering create a positive learning experience, but will teach compassion, create a sense of pride and foster the value of community service.
Whether is a worn towel or an extra tube of toothpaste, many items can be donated to local organizations. Not only is it a valuable lesson on giving, but you are also teaching your children to repurpose household items. By simply calling a local organization, you can find out the many items they need on a daily basis. Create family time by cleaning out closets, organizing donations, scraping together allowance money and dropping off these items together.
Local animal shelters, including PAWS Montclair, have supply wish lists. From garbage bags to paper towels; dog food to cat toys these shelters need community support to thrive and succeed.
Many libraries, including Morris County, welcome donations of used books. Instead of recycling your monthly magazines, drop them off to a hospital or nursing home. By creating a regular practice, this will teach your children to donate all year around.
Second Chance Toys accepts used toys (plastic only) that are clean and still in working order. Search Second Chance Toys’ website for drop off locations. If you are feeling extra motivated, this organization will also help you arrange toy drive if you collect 50+ toys!
From prom dresses to Halloween costumes, many second hand items can be put to good use. Catherine’s Closet collects prom dresses and shoes during the winter and spring, while Jersey Cares collects costumes through early fall.
Volunteering ideas are endless in New Jersey. From outdoor activities to indoor opportunities, you’ll find the perfect match for your brood.
Some outdoor activities include:
- Planting trees in underserved communities with The New Jersey Tree Foundation
- Clean up a local trail with the NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
- Be a time keeper or serve lunch at a Special Olympics event
- Fundraise and walk together at a local 5K
- Deliver clothing and toiletries to the homeless through Bridges Outreach
Some indoor opportunities include:
- Sort items at the Food Bank of New Jersey
- Visit a Veterans Home facility and provide companionship
- Serve meals at the Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown
- Host a bake sale for the Make-A-Wish Foundation
- Work together as Literacy Volunteers