Working in PR and being a mom are both tough jobs. But I love what I do every day and I love being a mom, besides if it were easy would it really be fun? I am sure you all have heard me brag about my son (in multiple blogs, on Facebook if we are friends and Twitter if you follow me) but as much as I like to spoil him, I really do try and keep him grounded as well. It is very important for him to know that he is very fortunate. This is why we volunteer every year on Thanksgiving Day delivering meals to the less fortunate.
Throughout the year, I also volunteer my time with other passionate organizations such as the Anne Rita Monahan Foundation and Girls on the Run of Maricopa County. But when it comes to finding volunteer opportunities for Aiden to participate in, it has been very difficult. Every place I would look at or call had a minimum age requirement of around 12. While that didn’t stop us from being creative with finding ways to get Aiden involved, it was frustrating! We would try and create our own teachable moments, for example Aiden has two piggy banks, one is his personal piggy bank and the other is for him to donate (to the nonprofit of his choice). It is also his decision when he gets money in which bank he would like to put the money. It’s often a 70-30 split (in his favor) but he is learning the concept of sharing and giving.
Fast forward to just a few weeks ago when I was reading the January issue of So Scottsdale! Magazine. In the trendsetters section was an article on an organization called Families Giving Back. The mission of the organization is “To inspire and help families volunteer together; and by doing so, help raise compassionate, socially conscious children who understand the importance of giving to others.”
WOW- what a powerful mission! The organization does this by working directly with nonprofits to create hands-on volunteer opportunities for children of all ages. On their website they have a calendar of events with events every week that allow children (and adults) to participate.
Aiden and I volunteered in our first Families Giving Back event last Saturday and had a great time. The event happened to be a book sorting drive at the United Way. Aiden was able to sort books, put stickers on the book, box and count books and even put together boxes. He was busy and engaged the entire time. Both of the founders, Alex Sklar and Lisa Geyser were at the event participating and working hard, which says a lot about how much they care about what they are doing.
I am so grateful for Families Giving Back and Aiden and I can’t wait to volunteer at our next event. Lisa and Alex- next time I will try not to “take-over” too much!