October 7, 2014 Leave a Comment
When first coming to work for Volunteer Kalamazoo, I was most excited to work with young adults and families wanting to make a difference in their community. How fitting was it that my first large scale event to promote volunteerism, which falls under our Day of Service program, was Volunteer Kalamazoo’s third annual 9/11 Family Day of Service.
The 9/11 Family Day of Service event offers families the opportunity to come and volunteer in remembrance to those lost and those who came out to serve after the 2001 attacks. Many times we hear from volunteers how they would love to share the joy of volunteering with their children but find it difficult to find volunteer opportunities for young children. The event strives to create a space where families have the opportunity to give back together in remembrance while learning about the different nonprofits that offer family friendly volunteer opportunities.
“What I liked best about the Family Day of Service is it introduced children to volunteer service.” 2014 participant
“I liked best all the options to give back to our community. Great event!” 2014 participant
In all, fifteen nonprofit organizations were represented and offered families fun and meaningful service projects. Partners who hosted projects included: Kalamazoo Literacy Council; Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan; Open Roads; Beadventure; Animal Rescue Project; Red Cross; Generous Hands; Comstock Community Center; Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity; Ministry with Community; Junior League; WMU CTAC (Children’s Trauma Assessment Center); Battle Creek VA Medical Center; Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run and Blue Start Mothers of America Greater Kalamazoo Chapter. Below is a list of completed projects:
- 20 recruitment mailboxes and 10 bookmarks
- 48 thank you envelopes decorated
- 44 thank you cards for police, fire and EMS
- 1 mural board with 52 positive messages to youth
- 15 kids got their hands dirty,
- 48 bike parts rescued,
- 3 junior mechanics created,
- 5 works of recycled bike art started
- 68 catnip cat toys
- 54 fleece dog toys
- 25 cards to Soldiers deployed overseas
- 32 bookmarks
- 46 birthday and Get Well Cards for recovering kids
- 60 disaster relief kits
- 32 families learned about literacy
- 2 adults signed up to be adult reading tutors
- 91 care packages and cards for Veterans
- 42 Welcome stepping stones for new home owners
- 30 placemats colored with positive messages for Thanksgiving Dinner at Shelters
- 82 envelopes labeled and stuffed with Girls on the Run participant identity cards
- 75 sets of practice 5k certificates counted and clipped
- 35 sets of pencils sharpened and bundled for coaching kits
- 28 sets of punched stars for Girls on the Run participants
We would like to give special thanks to community partners who helped support this event. Kalamazoo Rotary Club Charities generously helped underwrite the cost for the event and provide supplies for service projects such as the catnip and fleece, cement for stepping stones, card stock and police/firefighter stickers. The night was made even sweeter by the Junior League of Kalamazoo who provided nuts, cranberries and cheerios for participants to make their own healthy trail mix snack. Longtime supporters Radisson Hotel generously provided space and refreshments to participants, and Big Lyle’s snapped fun and funky blue screen souvenir photos of all participants free of charge.
We here at Volunteer Kalamazoo appreciate all our sponsors, Kalamazoo Rotary Club Charities, Kalamazoo Junior League, Big Lyle’s and the Radisson, along with all the great nonprofits who provided project. It’s because of community partners like you who understand the importance of providing families opportunities to give back which made the 2014 9/11 Family Day of Service a success. Looking forward to making next year even better!