Friday, November 4, 2016

Do Something for Others This Holiday Season -- Participate in the #FamilyVolunteerDay on Nov. 19th #ad

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Family Volunteer Day. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.


Start the holiday season by taking time to volunteer as a family. Join generationOn and The Walt Disney Company on November 19, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, to come together and support your community!
Now that my girls are getting older we are able to talk to them about the importance of things, like the real meaning of the holidays, or why it is so important to help others and give back.  And, as part of their homeschooling curriculum this year, I have made a point to have volunteering be of their schooling.  Earlier in the year, the girls donated holiday money to a local animal shelter, in addition to dog and cat food they had family and friends donate at the holidays in place of Christmas gifts.  Then, during the summer, the girls put together toys and games they no longer played with and sold them at our family yard sale.  The money raised was donated to the Dana Farber Cancer Center, where I was treated for cancer back in 2008.  While my girls don't know I had cancer, they have seen a friend battle leukemia and wanted to help others kids battling cancer with their donation.  As we wrap up 2016, I wanted to do one more volunteering act with the girls as a family.  So, on November 19 we will be participating in Family Volunteer Day.  

What is Family Volunteer Day you ask?  Here is a little background on this annual volunteer event, which is in its 26th year this year....
"Family Volunteer Day, held annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and now in its 26th year, is a day of service that demonstrates and celebrates the power of families who volunteer together, supporting their neighbors and neighborhoods. 
Taking place this year on November 19, Family Volunteer Day is powered by generationOn, the youth division of Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, and sponsored by The Walt Disney Company."
Why Should You Join Me and Others in Volunteering on 11/19?

Family Volunteer Day is a day of service that celebrates the power of families who work together to support their communities and neighborhoods. Volunteering is a great way for kids and adults to make new friends, develop compassion for those in need, and even pick up a new skill or two! It’s an amazing day to bring your family together and make your mark on the world. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity!
The answer is a simple one.  

"Volunteering is a wonderful way for families to encourage children to be change makers in their communities and the world, while they learn valuable real life lessons about kindness, caring and compassion. 

Every family can make a difference, and it doesn’t take a lot of time. They can do something as simple as writing a thank you note to a member of the military or checking on an elderly neighbor to volunteering at a more traditional event arranged by a local charity, hospital or faith-based organization."

Our previous acts of volunteering were easy.  The girls came up with the idea for raising money and food for a local pet shelter, out of their love for animals.  They wanted to do something nice for the animals in the shelters, especially around the holidays, when they are without homes and families to love them.  Seeing how excited my girls got about this volunteer project and how they created cards to send to family and friends asking for money and pet food in place of Christmas gifts really touched my heart.
Then, in the summer, they wanted to help kids with cancer and thought to sell their toys and give the money away.  The girls raised a lot of money, and could have chose to spend it on a new toy, but they both donated all money raised at the yard to DFCI, without hesitation.  And, now that the cold weather is upon us, the girls and I came up with the idea of a coat drive.  Not only do the girls have a lot of winter coats they longer fit or want, but they know family and friends do, too.  So, just like with the pet food drive, they are creating cards to send out to family and friends asking them to put aside their gently used winter coats, mittens and hats, so that we can pick up, and then donate to a local shelter in need.  
We came up with this volunteer project for the Family Volunteer Day, and after talking to a few people, have already filled a few boxes with winter coats for kids and adults.  A couple friends have even offered to put boxes in their workplaces and sent out emails asking for their co-workers to help in our cause.  How great is that!  I love seeing people come together to help others, especially around the holidays.
The girls will continue to make cards to mail and hand out to family and friends.  And, on the weekends, prior to Nov. 19th, we will be making stops to pick up coats collected.  Then, on November 19th, we will making final pick ups before we donate all the winter coats, mittens and hats to a local shelter, the girls will be choosing soon.  What a great way to end the year, and also a great way to teach my girls about the importance of helping others in need in our community.
Stay tuned for updates about our winter coat drive, including photos.  But, in the meantime here are a few photos and video I took of Bella next to one of 4 boxes we have already filled with coats.  

Savannah has been battling pneumonia with me, so she wasn't up for posing for the cameras. But, hopefully she will when we take photos of our drop off on Family Volunteer Day on Nov. 19th. Why not join my family by creating a project or even joining in a local project already started by people in your community as part of Family Volunteer Day?  
Use this day to teach your family about helping out in the community, along with kindness and compassion for others.  Volunteering doesn't take a lot of time.  But, it will be something you and your family will remember for years to come, when you think back on how your volunteer project or time volunteered made a difference in someone's else's life.
Visit to learn more about Family Volunteer Day, explore project ideas and find volunteer opportunities in your area. Resources are available in both English and Spanish. Families who share their Family Volunteer Day experience on the site become eligible to win one of four $500 gift cards to help with holiday shopping and five “family night out” prizes, consisting of dinner and a movie. Additionally, families are encouraged to use #FamilyVolunteerDay to share ideas and raise awareness of the Day on social media. 


It doesn’t take a lot of time to make a big difference. Check out our
project ideas here to get started!
Stay up-to-date on all things related to Family Volunteer Day by following the official website and social media channels below...


About generationOn:

generationOn, the youth division of Points of Light, is dedicated to providing programs and resources that support the development of caring, compassionate and capable kids and teens through service, empowering them to become changemakers in their communities and the world. To learn more, visit

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Family Volunteer Day. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.

1 comment :

  1. I didn't know about this, so thank you for posting this to raise awareness. If every person did something, no matter how small, think of the possibilities.....