September 25, 2014
The summer months certainly flew by. Suddenly we are faced with the usual barrage of “Back-to-School” sales, lists of school supplies to buy, and getting the family ready for the fall routine. But don’t forget about the needs of your local school; students and teachers can use your help, too.
Here are some suggestions, organized by level of involvement and skills required. These may help you identify a worthwhile and meaningful way to make a difference to kids in your community.
- If you are short on time
- If you have some time to spare
- If you have time to mentor or share your professional skills (more…)
July 2, 2014
In a recent blog post, Helping Kids Make a Difference, we covered simple ways to get kids involved in philanthropy and giving – ideas as simple as a peanut butter and jelly drive or fostering an animal. We’re following on to that blog post by highlighting a few Top-Rated nonprofits using our site.
Check out these top-rated nonprofits and learn how kids are participating in their volunteer activities!
July 2, 2014
It’s Never Too Early to Help
It’s easy to forget how lucky we are. We get in a particular groove, driving the kids to school, cheering them on at sporting events, helping them with homework. But are we teaching them how to pitch in and help others who are not as fortunate? How do they learn that not every child can ask a parent for basketball shoes and have them in time for next team practice? Do our kids realize that the crystal-clear drinking water that comes out of the tap is not an endless flow?
May 22, 2014
Amid Central Florida attractions such as Walt Disney World and SeaWorld lies Give Kids The World Village, a 70-acre nonprofit storybook resort that hosts children with life-threatening diseases, along with their families. Founded in 1986 by Henri Landwirth, a successful hotelier who survived five years as a child in Auschwitz, children come here from every state and 75 countries for complimentary vacations, intended as a respite from the weight of their illnesses. In addition to accommodations in one of the Village’s 144 villas, their vacation includes meals, entertainment and donated tickets to nearby attractions like SeaWorld, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World. (more…)
November 12, 2013
Typhoon Haiyan has left millions of families and children in need in the Philippines. As many as 2.5 million people require assistance. (more…)
October 24, 2013
“I want to leave my kids with enough money for college and also to buy a house in Palo Alto. But that’s it. I’m giving away the rest.”
“I’m going to pay for my kids to go to college and grad school, and also for my grandkids to do the same.”
“I’m working hard now so that my kids won’t have to. I wouldn’t want my kids to struggle like I had to. I’m leaving them all of my money.”
–These are just three different answers from my friends on the question of how much money do you plan to leave to your kids? (more…)
September 5, 2013
By Brad Jamison: contributing writer and founder of Good Citizen.
Back-to-school time is an annual reminder of the many service opportunities we have to help ensure kids have a fun and productive school year.
While I find great joy in doing all sorts of service, one of the things that delights me the most and provides enormous satisfaction is working with a nonprofit that benefits kids. In fact, last year, when I conducted Thirty Days of Service – 30 service projects with 30 organizations in 30 consecutive days – I spent nearly one-third of my time volunteering to help kids.
One of the most exhausting, yet rewarding, days of my thirty came when I volunteered with KaBOOM!. On that 90 degree day, I joined 200 others to build a new playground for the kids of an LA-area community. When we arrived at the site there was nothing to be seen other than a vacant space where an old dilapidated playground once stood and a sea of people eager to help. But, when we left there was a gorgeous, safe place for kids to play. It reminded me of the types of play space I was fortunate enough to grow up with, which is why I love doing these builds.
It is on a day like this, one when strangers come together with a common goal that I am reminded of the truth in one of my favorite quotes from Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” On that day, we changed the world for the kids in this community.
Another thing I love about service is seeing the impact I have on the person I am helping. One place that happens for me, over and over, is at the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood. I have been on the Board of the Club for more than four years, a role that brings me great joy and satisfaction. But, from time to time, I also volunteer with them in other ways.
During my Thirty Days of Service, I spent an afternoon helping kids with their homework in the Club’s learning center, which is where I visibly witnessed the impact I was having. I was sitting working with a young man struggling with his math assignment, something I could relate to, as I was never a superstar when it came to math. As I tried to help him, offering up various ways he could approach the equation, he grew more and more frustrated and was nearly begging me to just give him the answer. Not one to give in too easily to the charms of sweet kids, I kept working with him when suddenly something I said clicked with him and he was able to arrive at the correct answer. That little moment felt like magic for both of us!
Speaking of magic, the folks at Playworks might not be magicians, but they are experts at transforming schools by providing play and physical activity at recess and throughout the school day. I have seen firsthand how their hands-on approach helps build self-esteem in kids through play in a positive, supportive and non-threatening environment. As a kid who was frequently teased and picked last in gym, I know how intimidating the playground can be and I wish Playworks had been around for me. The day I served with Playworks, I wrote the following in my blog, “Many of life’s lessons are learned on the playground and I am thrilled that these kids, and kids at other Playworks schools, have an opportunity to learn those lessons in a safe and supportive environment. For the kids, it might seem like it’s just playtime, but we adults know it’s much more than that.”
So, whether it’s helping a teacher or kid, playing or instructing, there are so many ways to give to our next generation of leaders. I hope that during this back-to-school season, you will join me in pledging to find a way to serve this school year and help ensure a bright future for all.
About the author
Brad Jamison is a pro-social marketing expert, speaker, writer, producer, service advocate, philanthropist and founder of Good Citizen. A volunteer since he was 8, last year Brad conducted Thirty Days of Service – 30 service projects with 30 organizations in 30 consecutive days, for which he was honored with the Daily Point of Light Award, which recognizes the power of the individual to spark change and improve the world.
See Brad live:
Below is a video of Brad on day 28 of his service with Kaboom. For more videos, click here.
August 1, 2013
The lazy summer days are slipping away and it’s almost time to head back to school! This school year, why not look into volunteerism as a new after school activity? Getting involved with volunteering at a young age encourages an compassionate and kind outlook on life, strengthens your work ethic, and can provide valuable work experience.
Whether you’re a parent and you want to teach your children what it means to give back to the community, or you’re a high school student looking for meaningful ways to fulfill your service hour requirements, follow our tips to find the best volunteer opportunities for youth.
1. Look for organizations that specifically recruit children and teenagers as volunteers.
Great examples of these organizations include:
Pebble Tossers matches kids and teens up with volunteer opportunities and provides information on the number of hours, age requirements, and descriptions of different projects. Browse their list to find a service project that most appeals to you.
Youthlinc empowers youth to volunteer locally and be mentored to lead international service projects in impoverished villages in Kenya, Mexico, Peru, and Thailand.
Youth Making a Difference involves teens in Leadership Service projects that travel on humanitarian expeditions to India.
2. Check out your local soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
Many soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters take on students to volunteer for a weekend or on a regular basis and often give service hours in exchange. Contact your local organizations and ask if you can lend a hand.
3. Help out at senior centers and hospitals.
Local senior centers are often looking for young volunteers to help teach computer literacy classes, work in the kitchens or offices, or just be there to talk to the seniors and get to know them as you keep them company. Some hospitals also recruit high school volunteers to organize children’s play activities in the waiting areas, act as hospital greeters, and staff the gift shop or assist in administrative duties.
4. Join a club!
Many international service organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs offer middle school and high school branches. Join your school’s Interact, Key Club, or Leo Club to find out about locally organized volunteer opportunities and to bond with other service-minded students. Some middle and high schools also partner with local elementary schools to provide volunteer tutoring services. Or look for service clubs outside of school, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Had a great volunteer experience and want to share your story? Want to search for more youth volunteer opportunities? Check out our website for more ways to get involved with the youth volunteer community!
November 19, 2012
Earlier this month The Huffington Post highlighted some of the nonprofits that have already qualified for our 2012 Top-Rated List. The HuffPo slideshow focused on charities dedicated to providing support and education for children and families. The nonprofits featured were:
Congrats to these outstanding small charities! These nonprofits are located all around the country and are providing aid and opportunities for children in need. Some are dedicated to educating low-income children by providing the resources necessary to succeed academically. Others provide support and treatment to children facing severe medical conditions.
Check out The Huffington Post article hereand stay tuned for more featured winners of the Top-Rated Awards.
Are you a nonprofit? There’s still time to win a spot on the 2012 Top-Rated List!
October 15, 2012
Hey Volunteers! Thanks to your feedback through candid reviews, we were able to compile a list of great nonprofits who are effectively acting on their mission statements. These are organizations that you’ve told us not only talk the talk, but walk the talk!
DC Central Kitchen
Mission: We use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities
GNP users say: “Its food doesn’t just go straight to the needy, it first drives a culinary program for putting people back on the path to self sufficiency with skills in hand.”
Center for Intercultural Organizing
Mission: The Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) is a diverse, grassroots membership organization working to build a multi-racial, multicultural movement for immigrant and refugee rights
GNP users say: “The Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) is an amazing organization that touches the lives of immigrants and refugees. The close-knit intercultural relationships created and fostered through this organization by bringing together so many different cultures (many with long-time historical conflicts) are creating long-term change locally and state-wide; creating a positive ripple effect for American born residents, and maybe even worldwide.”
Cancer Schmancer Foundation
Mission:The Cancer Schmancer Movement is to ensure all women’s cancers are diagnosed in stage 1, when they are most curable
GNP users say: “Coming across Cancer Schmancer, I can’t even describe to you… It has changed everything for me. I know what to look for now. I know what to do. I know how to react. And most importantly, I know that cancer is NOT the boss of me. The Cancer Schmancer Movement has taught me to be a medical consumer, and has comforted me and guided me in helping my dear friend who was just diagnosed… at stage 1.”
Mission: Abilities United champions people with developmental and other disabilities and provides the training, education, and support they need to lead the lives they choose
GNP users say: “When Amber stepped into the warm water at the Betty Wright Swim Center, she walked on her first for the very first time – or more appropriately, she RAN through the water unassisted. Eventually she was able to repeat that experience on land Amber is now 16 and continues to be served by the Betty Wright Swim Center as well as the After School Socialization Program at Abilities United. Abilities United has made a profound difference in our lives!”
Mission: To lift morale and put smiles on faces by sending care packages addressed to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed in harm’s way, to their children left behind, and to Veterans, Wounded Warriors and First Responders
GNP users say: “As a prior service member, I cannot impress upon you how uplifting it is to receive such generosity from strangers, in any form. In recent years, I have helped put together care packages for service members, full well knowing that there will be a hard-working, well-deserving service man or woman on the receiving end.”
Mission: To provide a caring, safe haven to some of God’s most beautiful creatures. We put their needs above all else; the old, the maimed, the unwanted can find sanctuary here
GNP users say: “The exotic cats at In-Sync are so loved and cared for by the staff and volunteers. I have been impressed by the high standards Vicky Keahey sets for the care of these beautiful cats and some of the stories of rehabilitation from the horrid conditions they were rescued from are remarkable.”
Mission: “Wiser is a free online community space connecting the people, nonprofits and businesses working toward a just and sustainable world”
GNP Users say: “I turned English into Chinese in order to make more people access to it–a green social network engaging in sustainable development. We share interesting information and together hold activities.”
Love Without Boundaries
Mission: To transform the lives of orphaned and impoverished children by providing hope and healing
GNP Users say: “I have seen the work that LWB does for the children and rural families in China for 8+ years now and know that they have saved lives and changed countless more lives around the world by what they are doing for the children of China.”
Mission: Develops practical, life saving programs for cancer survivors
GNP Users say: “Malecare is a Non-profit organization that brings men from all walks of life together who have or have had prostate cancer. It offers support to individuals who previously would have felt or been isolated.”
Society for Science & the Public
Mission: dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education
GNP users say: “I have been involved in Science Fairs for over 22 years and the International Fair since 1994. The parent body (SSP) that supports this fair does a tremendous job. They support the students, the teachers, and all who are trying to keep kids interested and inspired in the sciences, technology, and engineering.”
Did we miss one? Write a review and let us know in the comments!