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BE THE “VILLAGE” IT TAKES TO RAISE A CHILD

You’ve heard the old adage, and it’s truer today than ever. Here are a few ideas and volunteer opportunities to help you be part of a virtual “village” of support that gives today’s youth the advantage they need.

Welcome in the new

You can make a profound difference for those new to your community—particularly immigrant families, single parents and foster parents—by helping them find the resources they need. Let them know about the Immigration Advocates Network, which is there to assist with questions or advice. You can help make it easier for returning veterans to provide for their families when you help them find rewarding jobs. Or you can get involved directly with a local service project, and help make a difference for foster youth.

Be a second pair of eyes

Raising a child is one of the most challenging (and rewarding) jobs you may ever undertake, and it’s more than doubly difficult when going it alone. You can help single parents by offering to babysit while they handle household tasks. Have kids or grandkids with out-of-school activities? Organize a carpool to simplify every parent’s life. And if you’re looking to get involved in a more structured way, you’ll find single-parent organizations in communities from coast to coast, so reach out to one today and see how you can help.

Lend a hand after school

After-school programs are an important part of healthy community development and there are countless opportunities to lend a helping hand. Find your state-affiliated, National After School Association partner here, and learn how you can get involved. With Big Brothers Big Sisters, you can make a one-on-one impact on local youth just by being your helpful self. And if sports is your thing, sign up to be a youth league coach or volunteer. Many local ballet companies offer volunteer opportunities as well.

Brighten every hospital stay

Community hospitals are always in need of volunteer help, and Project Sunshine is a great place to start your search. You’ll find ways to brighten the spirits of hospitalized youth, projects that inspire your own children or grandchildren to make a difference, and volunteer gigs for college students, too. Patients recovering from surgery, illness or injury often need family help in rehabilitation. You can reach out to your local hospital for available programs, or if you know someone who’s currently undergoing treatment, you can volunteer to help by giving them a ride, or offering to assist around the home.

Share your skills

Do you have special skills or training that could help the next generation put their best foot forward? Catchafire.org can match those skills to community members in need, and even help your business or non-profit organization with service projects on a larger scale. At The United Way, you can search and find just the right opportunity based on your skill. Or head to the US Dept. of Labor website and explore multiple youth programs and volunteer opportunities, all seeking your skills and willingness to help.

Find more ways to help the next generation in your community with this simple volunteer search

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