Volunteering Kindness

We've done it, just finished our 15th year of our Knit-for-Service Club meetings. Doesn't this year's group of volunteer needle-workers look adorable?

Third, fourth and fifth graders volunteer their time,

to knit a cap to help save the life of an underweight preemie.

Photo credit: Save The Children
Unravel details about our 15 years of knitting to serve
 {here}, {here} and {here}.

Here's our keepsake Knit One, Save One video; 
these young knitters are now high school seniors about to graduate. 

I'm told a few of them still use their skill to help others.

Volunteering is contagious like that; once you get the ball rolling, you'll want to keep on helping out. Lisa Currie from The Ripple Kindness Project wrote about the helper's high in this kindness post. Volunteering has been shown to help improve the health and well-being of volunteers and donors.

And no, you don't have to have a special skill to be a volunteer;
anyone can see a need and fill a need. Consider these opportunities right in your own neighborhood: washing a car, raking some leaves, shoveling some snow, mowing a lawn, watering some plants.

Need a nudge launching a volunteer campaign of your own? Why not sign up with WE Volunteer Nowan inspired way to organize a student volunteer activity. Whether you want to visit a senior home, donate to a food pantry or raise awareness about a cause that your kids are passionate about—like safe driving or recycling— this campaign is an easy way to get started.

 Simply enter here on WeAreTeachers and you’ll get an instant download from WE Volunteer Now, full of information on how to start a volunteer campaign at your school. You’ll also get access to grade-specific lessons you can use right away. 
WE Volunteer Now Campaign Resources include:
·       A step-by-step guide on how to get started with service learning curriculum in your classroom
·       Volunteering ideas
·       Teacher checklists to keep you on track
·       A worksheet for you to complete with your class—by the end you’ll have a solid idea of which volunteering option is best for you!
·       We Volunteer Now curriculum
Made possible by The Allstate Foundation, the WE Volunteer Now grants help schools and youth groups in their effort to give back to their local communities in a creative and unique way. As a bonus, 500 schools will receive a $250 grant to use towards their volunteer project. The grants will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to all eligible schools/groups, to be used toward supporting your volunteer project. The eligible school or youth organization must:
·       Have an educator, administrator, or adult group leader to fill out this application 
·       Be based in the U.S. and registered in the WE Schools program
·       Plan to use the provided funds between October 2017 – October 2018
·       Include students/youth participants in grades K-12
·       Participate in the WE Volunteer Now Campaign
Check out the reasons to join WE schools {here}, then enjoy these benefits:
Inspire your students to make a real difference. When you join the WE movement, you’re giving your students a chance to make a difference in their neighborhood and in the world. Together you’ll find something you are passionate about and can work toward as a group.
Fit service into your curriculum with ease. You signed up and took the first step. Now, you can use the WE Schools Kit to figure out which action or campaign your students want to work on throughout the year. The kit is packed with ideas for teachers and students to brainstorm ideas and set goals.
Earn your way to WE Day. Once you’ve decided on a project, finished your good deed, and reported your results, you’ll get a chance to earn your way to WE Day. It’s a stadium-sized event (there are six held annually in select cities across the country!) that brings together amazing speakers and performers. And YOU and YOUR students could be honored; students can tune in and watch live.
Be a part of something huge. Last year, 4,200 schools across the United States signed up and participated in WE Schools. That’s 1.3 million students! Plus, over 3.1 million viewers watched the WE Day Special on CBS this past August.
Help your students earn service learning hours and AP credits. High, middle, and even elementary schools are requiring students to log the time they’ve spent on service learning and volunteering. The WE Schools framework gives your students more options to gain volunteering time in ways integrated with your lessons.
Instill a love of volunteerism in your students (that they’ll have forever) just like we've done with our knitters. In a hectic world that values achievements and grades, it can be tough for students (and their parents) to make the time for giving back. WE Schools and the WE Volunteer Now campaign show us all how accessible volunteering can be.
Sign up for WE {here}.  

NOTE: This post is brought to you by WeAreTeachers, the Allstate Foundation and WE. Please join me in thanking them for their sponsorship.

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