TOP 10 REASONS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR KIDS TO VOLUNTEER
1. Volunteering helps foster empathy.
Empathy is the most critical disposition for responding to the needs of others. We need to be able to imagine what other people may be going through or feeling.
2. Volunteering helps develop a sense of self-efficacy.
Volunteering can provide experiences that affirm a young person's sense that they can make a difference through their own effort and skills.
3. Volunteers gain experience working with other people.
Social skills are best learned in social situations. It's a good way for parents and children to see each other in a different light, as well, and learn together.
4. Volunteering develops new skills.
In addition to social skills, practical experiences of organizing tasks and using physical and mental capabilities to get jobs done is fundamental to successful work of any kind.
5. Volunteering provides the opportunity to explore new interests and develop new passions.
There is nothing more exhilarating than discovering a new field of interest that sparks a real passion for learning and doing. Service activities have the potential to expose us to these opportunities and see how other people live their passions.
6. Volunteers learn a lot.
In the process of joining with others in service, volunteers learn about their community and the larger world. It takes us out of our own sphere of self-interest and self-absorption.
7. Volunteers actually make a difference in other people's lives.
Think about how much more impoverished our communities would be if all of the volunteer services disappeared. This is a lesson that children can be taught early and take with them into adulthood.
8. Volunteering encourages civic responsibility.
Community service and volunteerism are a way to teach the importance of investing in our community and the people who live in it.
9. Volunteering offers you a chance to give back.
It's important for children to see that there are small and large opportunities to support community resources. Children and adults alike can feel empowered through participation.
10. Volunteering is good for you.
Acting altruistically has real physical and mental benefits.
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Littlest Bit partnered with Operation Helping Hand to donate socks and T-shirts for the homeless. Twice per year (during the holidays and in summer) OHH builds backpacks filled with basic necessities and then hands them out to the homeless in communities from LA, OC, the IE and San Diego. One other goal of OHH is to expose middle class youth to how others live. Littlest Bit is so proud to have collected just over 500 socks and T-shirts from so many of our families! We are thankful that we were able to donate as much as we did and know that we donated to a good cause; helping the homeless.
Our drive was a HUGE SUCCESS & on behalf of OHH, Littlest Bit thanks you.. T-shirts and socks are one of the most needed items but least donated, so it’s very impactful for them to have these donations. This opportunity is a great way to realize what you have and is a great experience. When someone volunteers and does something like this it really makes a huge difference in both the person receiving the donation and the person giving because it gives you a sense of the world around you and how moving your kindness is to others. It shows you just how far the littlest bit of happiness can go and how one kind act leads to another.
Today, In honor of National Dog Day, Littlest Bit and friends went to the park to make dog toys for San Clemente/ Dana Point Dog Shelter and Little Red Dog Shelter. Friends and family of Littlest Bit donated towels and blankets so we could make toys. We braided and knotted the towels together in pretty colors and patterns and ended up with 2 FULL boxes of dog toys to donate. My favorite thing was putting pieces together that looked good for the dogs to play with. I also loved getting to visit the dogs and cats at the shelter. They were so cute and it was really rewarding that we got to make them happy with chew toys. In the end, I was so happy to give the animals toys so their time in the shelters can be more enjoyable. I love doing this event with Littlest Bit and I hope that we will be able to do it again and again on National Dog Day!
Today, my brother and I volunteered at Meals on Wheels where we drove around with Lori, our trainer, delivering meals to the elderly. We went through Santa Margarita and delivered meals to 6 people on the list. The meals consisted of breakfast, lunch, and dinner and we delivered them in coolers. We went inside the seniors homes to put the food in their refrigerators or on their tables. The people were so friendly and just wanted to have someone to talk to. I really enjoyed delivering food to the customers of Meals on Wheels and look forward to coming more often.
Today, Littlest Bit and 6 friends went to the Ronald McDonald house in Orange to bake sweets for the families of sick children in the hospital. Families can then stay there, be close to their children, and have a nice place to stay. We first got a tour of the kitchen where we would be baking. It was huge and had so many cabinets, it was hard to find everything! We then pulled out the ingredients we had to bring from home and started adding all the ingredients to make the dough. As a team, we made 3 plates of Brownies, chocolate chip and pecan cookies, and banana bread muffins. Baking is fun on its own, but when we were baking for the families of the sick kids, it felt even better because it was for a good cause. I loved baking the sweets at The Ronald McDonald House and I would definitely want to come back and do it again!
Last year I learned about a program that used donated hair to make wigs for cancer patients and set my sights this year growing my hair so that I could be a donor. After some research, I decided on the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Program because they offer the wigs at NO cost to their recipients and the donation is a 8“ length of hair.
The thoughts leading up to cutting my hair were scary I admit, but there was this calm as my mom made the first snip. I know that my hair will grow back and I understand that the girl or woman accepting my hair doesn't have the same gift of health. I've always had lots of compliments on my hair and perhaps I took it for granted.
Donating my pony tail to cancer patients is a real physical sacrifice and I think that this Littlest Bit of selflessness is going to stick with me for life.
I'm committed to making this an "annual" donation. Will you join me? (https://pantene.com/en-us/brandexperience/make-the-cut)
We decided again to go to Serra’s pantry but this one would be different, this one would be on a holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. When we first arrived we were eager and felt the urge to help out, so we got right to work lifting tables and packing food. A few of our friends had come so it made the experience all the better. As being part of a catholic school, along with our friends, we strive to help the poor and Serra’s pantry always gives us an opportunity to do that. It also provides a life changing experience and opens a door for us to look at possible vocations. At 10:30 am we started handing out food. I (Nick) felt worried at first that I would make a mistake especially since I had only been there once before. Then I started getting comfortable and felt joyful that I was helping out the less fortunate. When you hand out food to each person it adds a piece to your heart, showing pure kindness, nothing else. You always help people with things like picking up someone’s dropped books or lending a pencil to a friend or saying a compliment but handing food, something that is so precious to someone who has been through so much in their lifetime, you can’t feel anything else but kindness and happiness. It shows them that you care and at Serras pantry that’s their goal to show others that you care about them and you’re here whenever they need someone. At the end of the day this experience taught me (Nick) to be nice to the poor.
This Valentine’s Day we decided it would be a great idea if we handmade Valentine’s Day cards and centerpieces for the seniors at a local senior center.
As soon as we got to Roma’s house we got straight to work pasting and gluing hearts and stickers and googly eyes to red and pink cards. We tried to be creative, making different designs and patterns and making it look cute. We also tried to make it look as though when the person got it taped to their door or handed to them they would feel loved and felt that someone cared about them. We hoped that all those heart stickers and red Valentine’s Day themed things would show them how much somebody cared. After all it is Valentine’s Day.
After we finished making 300 cards –enough for all the residents- we hopped in the car and drove to the senior center to hand them out in the lobby or tape them to their door. We spilt into groups each going on a different floor. We also handed the centerpieces which were glued Valentine’s Day themed hearts on sticks in a jar to a waitress there who put them on the tables.
We went to each door and if we saw someone in the elevator or walking down the halls of the lobby or one of the residents floors we would hand them a card. They always seemed so thankful and appreciative. I know they felt good about getting a card but it also felt good to give to them. Then we headed over to the assisted living residents rooms and handed those out on the tables.
Today it felt like we had made the littlest bit of difference this Valentine’s Day, even it was just a little.
Today, Littlest Bit and 15 friends made Valentine's cards for Villa Valencia. After school, we went straight to my house and started making the cards. I liked making the cards because you could be creative and have fun with it. While we were making cards, our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents made center pieces for the tables. After an hour and a half, we had made 300 cards and 15 center pieces! We drove to Villa Valencia and we handed cards to people and put them on doors. We split up and went to every floor, putting the cards on doors and handing them to people in the the halls. I loved doing this because you could talk to people and in your heart, you knew the Residents would like them. We handed out cards and put center pieces on tables til we ran out. This was such a fun experience because we could be creative and have a lot of fun making cards and handing them out. The Residents were so happy to receive their cards which made us happy too. Happy Valentine's Day1
Today Littlest Bit and friends made and baked bread. First we added the dry ingredients like yeast, salt, and flour. Then we added milk and needed the dough with our hands. The dough was warm and very fun to play with. We had to be careful not to need it too much otherwise it would get hard. We put the needed dough in the other room to rise and then we braided the dough once it was ready. After we braided for many minutes the braided dough went into the oven to make bread! While we waited for the bread to be ready we made holiday cards for the Serra's pantry volunteers so they could have a holiday card and bread. Once the bread was ready we started to wrap them in clear plastic wrap and attach the little cards we made. We made over 20 loaves and we even got to take some home! The bread was so good and I knew all the volunteers at Serra's pantry would love it too. I had so much fun making bread I would love to do it again!
Lttlest Bit sends love through bread
We decided that since we have volunteered at Serra’s pantry before it would be a great idea if we made
bread for our fellow volunteers. We had made bread before in the past for Easter and other events so we had some experience. We invited some of our friends with us to help us make the bread. When we arrived at our neighbor’s house and got straight to work mixing, kneading, pounding, braiding and
wrapping. First we would mix the ingredients in a bowl. Then we would add hot milk and egg and give the bowl to my dad who would mix the bread with an electric mixer. After he finished mixing we would knead the bread and add 'our and send it over to the moms who would put it in the oven to bake. We would continue this process until we finished making all the bread. Then we wrapped the bread and made cards. This experience has taught us to spread love to those who are not only less fortunate than us but also to spread love to those who help them because sometimes they just need the littlest bit of love
Littlest Bit Sends Love to San Francisco
We went on vacation to San Francisco as our usual winter get a way. My mom had this great idea of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless people since there are a lot in San Francisco. As the trip went on the idea hung in the air until my sister and I reminded our parents of the idea when we saw a dad and his kid outside of Walgreens asking for food. We walked into Walgreens and bought the supplies. Then we went to our hotel and went to the top floor to make our sandwiches. We created a system where Lainey would spread the peanut butter and I would put on the jelly. My dad was on bread duty and my mom wrapped the sandwiches in tin foil and stacked them up. I felt happy that I was making a difference in their life one sandwich at a time. My mom always
says that if there were 100 star(shes on the shore and you only pick up one at a time and couldn’t save all of them at least you were making a difference for that one starfish.
Then we set out to deliver them. The first person we handed it to was a lady in a wheelchair. She said thank you and I felt exited that we handed out the sandwich successfully without them getting mad at us. We walked down the street and we handed out two sandwiches to a man and his kid. They were thankful. I felt bad that they were so unfortunate but determined to make a difference in other people’s lives too as well as there’s. They rest of the people were successful and were all very gracious. I felt sad that I couldn’t make a difference in all the people’s lives but for twelve people we made a little dfference and that’s all that counts
On October 28,Littlest Bit and volunteers went to Richard Steed park in San Clemente to make wreaths for veterans and sell flags and magnets. Littlest Bit will be giving a home made wreath to veterans for every purchase someone made. At first I made the wreaths but then I started to sell the flags and magnets. It was very hard selling the flags and magnets because a lot of people didn't want any. We soon realized it was the wrong group of people to sell it to because they were trying to watch their kids play baseball. On November 7, we went to San Juan Hills golf course and sold 16 flags in one hour! It was a much more successful day of selling and really boosted our spirits. On Saturday, November 11th we will be handing out the 40 wreaths we made at a veterans mass in Costa Mesa organized by the bishop. I am excited to see how the veterans will respond. This project helped me to learn how to buy and sell and where the funds are needed for the nonprofit.
This Labor Day Littlest Bit decided that we were going to head over to Villa Valencia and make a little binder full of colorful sheets that named the residents jobs and other questions like: what year were you working this job? A funny story. How many siblings and children did you have? Did your job affect your family life? We went around randomly choosing residents and asking
about their jobs. When we first got there, we were all a little nervous and had to keep looking at
the paper for what questions we had to ask. Eventually we got the hang of it and felt more
confident. Most of the woman there had jobs which I thought was really cool and that there were some really great, intelligent woman out there. One woman even worked with aerospace and
NASA! She inspired me to do my best. Each resident had their own story and told us about their life, job and stories. They were all different. Some of them would even joke or laugh like they
were thinking back to when they were younger. We learned a lot about different things and people and their past. They each had their own perspective on life. Some had brilliant jobs and loved them while others lived a more quiet life. We went all over the building looking for people who were around. One man talked for a long time about his job and his fathers. I felt like was doing good because I was showing that I cared about their life and their job. It was a great experience for all of us and we learned a lot from all the people there. We showed even the Littlest Bit of
kindness this Labor Day and I think we are going to remember this holiday.
Today, Littlest Bit went to Villa Valencia to interview the residents about their jobs. We asked them questions like, "what job did you have?" and "how many kids do you have?" The residents were so happy to talk to us and share their jobs so we could make them a beautiful and colorful binder with one page all about them. Residents jobs varied from Mailman to Aerospace engineers, and even a teacher who taught Frank Sinatra Jr. when he was in kindergarten. My favorite part of the day was talking to Florence, the "Bird Lady" of Villa Valencia. She is called that because she makes origami birds for Villa Valencia residents. She was so kind and and definitely wanted to talk to us. We will be giving her some origami paper so she can make more of her birds. My second favorite part was talking to Raymon. He first said that he was a bank robber but then admitted he was tricking us and said he did floors for his own company called Shaddox. Raymon was funny and I enjoyed talking to him. Going to Villa Valencia and interviewing the residents was an experience I would do again.
Today, August 19th is National Dog Day! So, in honor of this day, Littlest Bit made dog toys to deliver to the San Clemente/ Dana Point dog shelter. First, we all met at the Richard Steed park to make the dog toys. It was definitely the most I have ever braided in my life because we made 2 full boxes of toys! One really cool thing was that 2 men who were playing baseball bought our toys and we earned ten dollars! After a few hours of making the toys, we drove to the dog shelter. At the dog shelter, we got to take a picture with Andy, a dog who was just adopted and give him toys. After our picture with Andy, we walked around all of the dog kennels to visit the dogs. As we were walking around, all of the dogs started to bark and jump on their cages. It was funny!
I loved celebrating National Dog Day at the dog shelter and making toys for them. All the dogs were so cute and I was glad that we made toys for them. (Roma)
A few days ago, Littlest Bit decided that for National Dog Day we would make dog toys for the dogs who need our love. We started by handing out flyers to everyone in our neighborhood. We got a few donations and decided to look around our own houses for old towels, blankets and t-shirts. We gathered up a box full of our donations and the neighbor’s donations. The next day we woke up knowing we were going to do something good for someone (even if they weren’t human). We got our box and jumped in the car to drive over to the Richard T. Steed park. We were also meeting up with some other families. We found a spot right next to a baseball game that was going on. We got straight to work cutting and braiding. After a we had made a couple dog toys a guy walked over who was an empire for the next game and he asked if we were selling the dog toys. We said no and that we were donating them but if he wanted to buy one that would be okay. He then started talking to us about how many dogs he had and what breed they were. After we said goodbye and we both said again thank you we started back to work again. My dad and I decided we would make larger toys out of towels and strong material. We came up with a system were an adult would hold and a kid would braid. My mom and another mom would cut the fabric into three pieces and knot it for us. That way it went much faster. After about an hour another guy walked up and asked if we were selling them. We said the same thing we told the last guy. He ended up buying one and we had made 10.00$ total from the 2 guys. After about another half hour we had made about a total of 200 dog toys. We decided that with our money we would buy all our volunteer kids some candy. We enjoyed it at the park. Then we all hopped in the car again to head over to the San Clemente/ Dana Point animal shelter. They let us take a group picture with a newly adopted dog named Andy. We dropped of the toys and we asked if we could go visit some of the dogs. They we all so cute and I think happy to see us. We then said goodbye to the dogs and then goodbye to each other and went home. I think it was a great experience that we did something for the dogs. They help us all the time and I think it was time we showed them the littlest bit of love. (Lainey)
Today, we went to Serra's pantry in San Juan Capistrano to give food to the poor. When we first arrived we put six eggs in a half carton and put them in bags. This sometimes got messy because some of the eggs were broken. Next, we filled bags with beans and tied the bags up. I liked doing this because I got to tied the bags while Lainey poured in the beans. After that, Lainey and I did more eggs and that's were everything got crazy. We were running around pouring fruit into baskets and grabbing boxes of food that just had arrived from Trader Joe's. After the crazy turned to calm, Lainey, my mom, and I were assigned to the dessert table and the salad table. We got those items from the cars and sorted them into many piles so everyone could see. After many minutes of hard work, the poor people started to arrive. They passed by our table and we talked to them and helped them pick out their food. Doing Serra's pantry made me realize how lucky my family and I are. We had so much fun at Serra's pantry and we would love to do it again. (RL)
Littlest Bit Heads Over to Serra’s Pantry Today the girls of Littlest Bit headed over to Serra’s pantry to do volunteer work there and help. When we first arrived the other volunteers and people who worked their greeted us. We signed in and got straight to work putting eggs into boxes of six. We would take a carton off eggs and put them in egg cartons of six. Some eggs were cracked and it would get a bit messy when we tried to throw them away. After we washed our hands from the egg yolk, Roma and I started bagging beans. We would scoop up a good amount of un-cooked beans and put them in a bag then tie it up and put it in a bin. At first, me and Roma would switch jobs from scooping beans to tying the bag up but then we just stayed with one job and it went a lot quicker. Then a load of boxes came in of donated food from Vons and Trader Joes and all the volunteer’s (including us) started to chip in. We carried them from the volunteer driver’s car to be weighed. Then we would carry them over to a table where they would be sorted and split into different tables. Each table was in charge of a different food group. Roma, Mrs. Latini (Roma’s mom) and I were in charge of a dessert and salad table. Mrs. Latini was in charge of eggs, milk, dip, and some latte drinks. Roma and I were in charge of dessert, fruit and tortillas. Another girl named Elizabeth was in charge of salad. There were also other tables which included bread, produce-where my mom was stationed at- and meat. At 10:30am people started to show up. The people there looked normal and we were reminded that all they needed was just a little help putting dinner on the table. Most had homes and families. One girl and her mom even had their toenails painted. As it got closer to 11:00 more people stared filing in. It got more busy and we would have to serve two people at once. We would give them one dessert, a fruit, a bread/tortilla, and their choice of a salad. When we started to run low on fruit, we had to give the people a choice between fruit or a dessert. Eventually the line started to slow down and we started to clean up. We carried tables and boxes back to where they were before. Then we brook down boxes that we didn’t need. It was tiring but you knew you were making a difference for each person that came to us. I think it was a great experience and it showed us to be grateful for what we have. (LG)
Littlest Bit’s first event was a 9 families from our local community joined for a total of 27 volunteers on July 2nd at Villa Valencia in Laguna Woods, CA. Villa Valencia is a Senior Community offering independent, assisted and nursed living to over 300 residents. And it just so happens that my Grandma also lives there. The goal of our first event was to bring 4th of July joy and appreciation to Seniors and Veterans in our community. Our volunteers spent June decorating and designing homemade 4th of July cards. On July 2nd, we gathered at Villa Valencia to hand deliver each card to over 200 Seniors and Veterans. It was important to make physical contact with residents so we handed them out individually in the main lobby and door to door in the assisted living area. We made sure to connect with each senior and asked questions like “what is your favorite memory of the 4th of July?” All the seniors there were very grateful and it brought smiles to our faces also. It was a great experience for all the kids there and it helped us all grow as Christians. My personal highlight of the day happened when we visited one woman in the Assisted Living building. Those residents are mostly confined to their rooms, we knocked and entered quietly. Standing at the entrance of her room, she turned away from an old black and white movie that was playing on the television, blinked a bit and said “Well hello. Who are you? I thought I was seeing things”. I answered “Hi, we are here to wish you a Happy 4th of July”. And she responded “How many are there of you, all of you come in”. All 12 of us piled into that tiny room and the smile and surprise on her face was contagious. She talked about fireworks and the cards and 4th of July. She had so much to tell us and ask us. It was the best visit of the day for her and for me. It made me laugh how happy that lady was from us being there with her and talking to her. It made me feel like I was making a connection between her life and my own. LG
Littlest Bit’s first charity event Today, Littlest Bit and 27 other friends went to Villa Valencia to deliver home- made 4th of July cards to the seniors. Littlest Bit and friends went throughout the rooms of residents and into the dining hall to bring joy to everyone living there. When we handed them the cards, we asked them what their plans were for the 4th of July and they were mostly having BBQ’s with their families. One thing we loved about delivering these cards was the smiles on people’s faces and how much they appreciated our effort to make the cards. Another thing I loved about visiting Villa Valencia was talking to the residents which definitely cheered them up and they walked away with a card and a big, happy smile on their face. Our first charity event was very successful and heart-warming to see the residents smile ear to ear. We plan on continuing to visit Villa Valencia every month! Our next charity event is Saturday, July 8th at Serra’s pantry in San Juan Capistrano where Littlest Bit will feed the hungry and the homeless. RL