Add Excitement to the “Dog Days” by Volunteering
Have you ever heard of the expression “Dog Days of Summer”? They are the hottest and muggiest part of the summer, usually between early July and early September.
It’s about that same time that kids start to get a little stir-crazy because they’ve been out of school for a while and they are just “itching” for something new to do. They’ve already been to the park, the beach and the mountains; they’ve seen the latest movies, and eaten at the mall a dozen times. After the sleepovers and pool parties, and visiting Mickey and Minnie, they are looking for something new to do.
What a perfect time to introduce them to some kid-friendly service projects and get them re-energized! But don’t just pick a project for them and expect them to get excited about it. Instead, let them participate in selecting a project that speaks to their interest, and watch how quickly and willingly they will dive in. Kids can make a real difference and you’d be surprised by the great ideas they come up with all on their own!
Lulu Cerone, age 14, is making a huge impact on her community by getting more of her friends involved. Part of Lulu’s mission is to encourage kids to throw “parties with a purpose.” “The goal is to turn any social gathering into an opportunity to contribute to others — and still have fun,” she says.
Even the youngest children can take part. Five-year-old Josie Barnabee and her 3-year-old brother, Ben, have more “honorary” grandparents than they can count. Since they were babies, they’ve spent one morning a week with their parents at the local nursing home, where they exchange hugs, sing songs, play games, and talk with the elderly residents.
There are so many ways that you and your children can make volunteering a part of your lives. You can start off by helping the less fortunate by holding a Canned Food Drive for the local food bank, or having a Garage Sale and donating the money you earned to a worthy charity. You might try doing some light gardening or window washing for a senior neighbor, or joining a Beach Clean Up Day.
Let’s not forget the dogs! Contact your local Animal Shelter and volunteer to help bathe, walk or play with their pups. Make a day of it! Take your kids out on a Saturday to spend some time playing tug-o-war with a shelter dog.
Whatever you choose to do, be enthusiastic about it and talk to your kids about why giving back is so important. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to have fun!
About JoAnn Angeli
JoAnn is Keenan’s Meetings & Events Specialist as well as the proud “momma” to Chewy, her 7-year old canine “son”. When she’s not planning an event for the Company, JoAnn keeps busy by getting involved in her community.