One of the biggest things I hope to convey to my children is the importance of giving. Offering time, talent, and treasure to serve others and honor God. However I will admit, when it comes to volunteering we have fallen short. Life gets so busy and although we have good intentions, we have yet to participate in an ongoing, high-impact act of service. We give monetary donations to our church and we pick up litter but I know we could do far more. Which is why I was so excited to interview Nicole Bouchard Boles, author of “How to be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, Community, and World-At No Cost”. I highly recommend this book! It is loaded with practical ideas and fantastic websites where you can help every cause imaginable. Here are just a few that I bookmarked…
Foster Friend: Orphaned teenagers often slip through the cracks. Most have lived in several foster homes over the course of their short lives and have likely missed out on birthdays and other holiday celebrations. The Orphan Foundation of America has set up a program to make sure these kids get gifts on their birthdays and cards throughout the year. The cost? Just $50 a year (we can do that)!
Be Someone’s Eyes: Provide a free reading service for blind and low-vision people through Read This to Me. Use your voice to digitally record books through Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic.
I love this one but unfortunatley they don’t have the program in our area.
Best Buddies fosters one-on-one relationships between developmentally diabled kids and their nondisabled peers.
Little Brothers or Sisters ( is like Big Brothers/Sisters) except this concept connects the elderly with the young.
If you can knit or crochet; make a helmet liner for troops, make chemo caps or check out the Blankets for Recovery Program . This program aims to provide small kindess to wounded soldiers by providing them with warm blankets and quilts as they recover in military hospitals.
Those are just a few of the 330 ideas, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Volunteer Match is also a good resource because it connects you with the best options for what you and your family have a passion for. I highly recommend the book, and what a perfect time of year for it!:)
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