Considering the economic climate and need for service in Michigan and around the country, I can’t help but share Nancy Gibb’s question, from her recent TIME Magazine article, “Is it a coincidence that eight of the 10 happiest states in the country also rank in the top 10 for volunteering?” This Saturday, November 21, is Family Volunteer Day. As we near the calendar-appointed day for thankfulness and the cheerful months of holiday giving, perhaps now is also a good time to evaluate how we are serving and volunteering our time throughout the year.
HandsOn Network, generated by Points of Light Institute and The Walt Disney Company present Family Volunteer Day as an annual day of service, held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This day is designed to demonstrate the power of families who choose to volunteer together to support the communities in which they live and serve. Volunteering as a family provides quality time for busy families, strengthens communication and bonds and positively impacts local communities across the nation.
Read the full article from TIME Magazine, and let us know how you and your family are volunteering and whether or not it impacts your happiness.
Family Volunteer Day Opportunities:
If you are looking for ways to serve this weekend or any time of the year, consider contacting your local Volunteer Center. Many centers are hosting Family Volunteer Day events or activities. For example:
• HandsOn Battle Creek is partnering with local nonprofits such as Salvation Army and SAFE Place to address real community needs that extend beyond culture, race and economic boundaries.
• The Volunteer Center of Dickinson and Iron Counties and the UP Volunteer Network will be partnering with Delta County Jaycees to pack Thanksgiving Day food boxes and crafts at The Salvation Army to distribute across the country.
• The Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan will host 12 nonprofit organizations with hands-on activities, like making bookmarks and decorating gift bags for hospice patients. They will partner with the Community Alliance Against Substance Abuse, Great Start Parent Coalition, and the YMCA of Niles/Buchanan.
• The United Way & Volunteer Connections of Montcalm is working with the Ionia Kids Club to coordinate a Friends & Family Brunch and Service project. They will make handmade beaded Christmas ornaments to donate to RAVE, a local domestic and sexual violence shelter.
Submitted by Ashley Gulker, program specialist for the Volunteer Centers of Michigan and Michigan Campus Compact.