As National Volunteer Week 2020 winds to a close, we continue to witness the miracle of "volunteering." Over the past 40 years, Healing the Children has seen such extraordinary compassion and healing thanks to our amazing volunteers! Every day in the news and on social media, there are stories of kindness, of hope. At the same time, people are scared and isolated. This is a time when we need each other more than ever.
To combat the isolation - we recommend volunteering. There is so much we each can do to help others now. And, it is a time for new forms of creativity and reaching out to those in need. Have you heard of the teddy bear campaign - where people put teddy bears in their windows so when children are out and about they see a friendly face? Remember the days of "tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree?" This a great time to decorate your yard, flower beds, or window sills to bring a smile to another person. There are so many ways to show others you care and that we are in this together. Our daughter registered for Ancestry.com and has traced our family back 11 generations! We have had so much fun talking about who came from where and believe me - there were some surprises!
Here are a few ideas and resources for the days ahead:
1) MAKE MORE MASKS: There are many, many organizations, businesses, and medical facilities that need help. This need is on-going for as long as this crisis lasts. The need for surgical masks is acute right now. Please check locally with medical facilities, nonprofits, and businesses to determine their needs.
2) ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS: HTC has developed a one stop "Activities for Kids" resource page to help you along the way. Whether you live in NYC, Seattle, Guatemala City, Quito, Monrovia, Kathmandu, or New Delhi, these are activities (maybe with a little adaptation) you can do at home.
3) SHARING STORIES: This is a perfect time to learn about the people you care about. Family members (old and young), Children who have been a part of your organization (like our Healing the Children kids), Seniors who have so much insight on life and living, and/or Neighbors you haven't spoken to in a while. We can all still use the phone and talk to each other. Here are a few links to questions you can use to get you started. I hope each and everyone of you do this as it will likely be such a special way to connect with the people you care about and bring a smile and perhaps even a big chuckle (there are some interesting stories to be told) to your day!
Ancestry.com (currently they offer a 14 day free trial)
4) LEARN TO USE ZOOM: Zoom is the new way to meet and it is fun. It helps you to stay connected. I was able to purchase an attachable camera and microphone (for less than $50) for my desk top computer and now talk weekly with my family in Ohio, Rotary members, work folks, and my adult children. I know some groups who have weekly "Happy Hour Gatherings" with staff, friends and/or family. This is a great time to learn something new.
Take care of yourself and I hope you find some great things to do during your days at home.
Ann Anderst, President
Healing the Children