The principles of volunteerism and the spirit of “giving back” were strong and mutual themes in both the Malakoff and Waldman childhood homes. As mothers, of course we strive to instill those same principals and have long-since developed a keen interest in fundraising and other volunteer work.
At the end of the school year though, we wondered how much our children were getting from our collective experiences (not necessarily in a monetary way), but in a way that they understood that volunteering’ didn’t just mean, ‘mommy is coming to my classroom or volunteering at the temple’. We decided then to take our children to the Jewish Family Services Youth Hand-Up Food Pantry under the belief that this would be a good place to start … that they would be able to comprehend the idea of ‘hunger’ and what it means to feel ‘hungry’.
While we were there for our 2-hour shift, we learned that dollar for dollar, monetary donations mean more to the pantry than straight donations of cans of food. As such, we came up with a schematic to run a “Summer-Long Bake Sale, benefiting the Jewish Family Services Hand- Up Youth Food Pantry” with our children.
From there, we sent out an email and raised awareness for our cause through social networking and ended up having a very busy summer, where friends and family made their donations to the food pantry in exchange for baked goods. We donated our time and the cost of those goods. Our children had a wonderful time, and all summer, looked forward to going back to the food pantry in the early fall where they would present their full donation (all of our collected checks) to the fantastic youth who run the pantry. All told, they raised $623 for a cause they can clearly relate to, for families in need right here in San Diego!
Elaine and I are proud of the volunteer work and many fundraising efforts we have taken on over the course of the last few years, but never have we been more proud to lead by example and to do something like this with our children. Our families are so excited, we plan to make this an annual tradition. Read more about our children’s’ efforts here: http://blog.jfssd.org/?p=532 and by all means, sign up for a shift at the pantry, it’s a great way to spend a couple of hours with your children, giving back! — AD