This guest post is by Heather Simpson, mom of 3 #GivingKids
Living in the great big city of Los Angeles, our family has always been looking for opportunities to get involved with special causes, and to give back the love we feel fortunate to have all around us in this great community. The only issue sometimes is where to start, and not only that, but how to find causes that are kid friendly so that our children can feel as big a part of the giving as we do. Most volunteer opportunities are sometimes tailored toward adults and are not suited or safe for kids, and most of the time there is just not enough time to sort through all the great volunteer options to find those that are made for kids and their families.
So when we heard about PGK and what Molly Yuska had created with her wonderful team, we were immediately inspired by the user-friendly volunteer match search engine that has changed the way we give back as a family. This summer, we had a family bucket list of things we wanted to do, and my husband and I usually choose a few volunteer adventures to put on it so that we can we can do something special for others as a family. This year, because of the PGK website, we were able to ask our two boys to come up with the ideas of where they would like to give back. They love how easy and fun the website is to use with all the bright colors and pictures, and we love how they are able to guide the giving process from their hearts based on what they are passionate about instead of always doing things solely lead by what we are excited about.
By empowering them early, I can see their confidence grow each time they get to hand pick a good cause and see that every person, young or old, can help make someone feel loved or the world a better place by simple acts of kindness.
Top of their bucket list, besides attempting to eat a triple scoop ice cream cone, was to have a lemonade stand and donate the money to a deserving charity. After searching the Project Giving Kids website, they found a homeless shelter called San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission where they wanted to donate the money they raised. I think because they had a purpose to the lemonade stand, it helped them really pour their hearts into selling as much lemonade as possible. When they got to go to the Mission to see where their money was going, it made them feel so good inside knowing that they, on their own, had done something that was going to hopefully help someone who needs the love the most.
There have been so many wonderful volunteer match opportunities that have been PGK inspired, like giving our old baby items to Baby 2 Baby, getting involved with Big Sunday as a fun family event or, as mentioned above, the charities that we have found as a result of what speaks most to my boys’ hearts. All in all, we have been so grateful to find such a fun, safe and user-friendly website that has lead our kids and family to such enriching philanthropic adventures which have been so incredible to be part of. We feel so blessed to have been introduced to Molly Yuska and the PGK team, and their sweet site which is sure to help keep the love flowing in all the right directions, allowing a limitless ripple effect to carry on by making a true difference one child at a time.