I think lots of us parents are pretty much always on the lookout for ways to teach our children about empathy and giving of themselves, to want to engage with the community in a way that’s helpful and meaningful. So I was really excited to hear about a new workshop series the National Liberty Museum is launching in January: Their GiveBack Workshops allow families (of all ages!) to volunteer for a few hours on a Saturday and work together on a “make-and-donate” activity designed by that month’s partner organization. The charities are awesome — benefiting everyone from shoeless people in Uganda to the SPCA to local seniors to troops overseas — and the concept is simple: Register, show up, and help someone.
So, for instance, on 1/12, families can register to volunteer to work at the museum with Enchanted Makeovers, an organization that nurtures women and children living in homeless shelters. The project will be creating “hero capes” for children in these shelters to let them know they can be their own superhero. (They’ll use an an easy-to-follow design template, provided by Enchanted Makeovers, which allows families to get as creative as they like by decorating their capes with felt cut-outs.) In February, the project will be via a charity called Sole Hope, which creates shoes for those suffering from jigger infestations in the east African nation of Uganda. (Jiggers are a parasite that usually affects the feet and can be fatal.) Families will create shoes made from old denim using patterns and instructions presented in a kit, and the creations will be shipped to tailors, where they’ll be finished off.
You can see why I love this idea: These workshops, as museum’s communications coordinator noted to me, are high impact and low commitment, which is perfect for a busy family with little kids. A few hours volunteering can make a huge difference in someone’s life, and also open up a chance to have conversations with our children that might not otherwise happen, right?
Anyway! Here are more details: Pre-registration is recommended for each GiveBack Workshop. The cost is $20 and up for non-members depending on how many people participate, and $15 for families who are Museum Members. (You can also subscribe to the whole season — five Saturday workshops — for $90.) (Oh! And museum admission is included.) You can read about all the workshops — and register — on the site.