Service Organizations

This page will serve as a way for me to organize my research this year as I look into family-friendly service opportunities for our Project 52 “Focus” on Kindness project.  As I come across family-friendly service opportunities, especially those local to the Washington DC, Northern VA region I will try to place links here.  Some of these will be organizations myself or other people I know have worked with.  Others will be just websites I’ve found that I want to bookmark for future reference.  

None of these links imply endorsement.  Please do use your own research and caution when deciding on charities or organizations to participate in or support.  I have not researched each of these in depth – it’s merely a bookmarks page for me which I’m sharing here to help organize my preliminary research.

If you know of an organization I should include let me know.

 

BIG RESOURCES:

Volunteer Loudoun Website

 

 

Serving Our Troops

Joshua’s Hands Valiant Warrior Quilting (Purcellville, VA) – this twice a year event is open to all ages with no sewing experience required.  My children participated last year and loved it (they were 8 at the time).  People come together in Purcellville, VA to make quilts that are then sent to wounded soldiers.  They also have opportunities for groups of children to participate off-site in making denim squares used to make the quilts or collecting and repurposing old Jeans.  If you have a quilter in the family you can also work on quilts at home.

Wreaths Across America (Arlington National Cemetery and other locations throughout the United States) – There are several ways that families can serve through Wreaths Across America, both hands on and through donation/sponsorship of wreaths.  Julie Royes Photography shared her family’s experience participating in the Wreath Clean Up Event at Arlington National Cemetery in January 2013.  They are also looking for people to sponsor wreaths.  They will be looking for people to help place wreaths in December.  In a separate campaign you can request thank you cards from them that you can hand out to any veteran or active duty service member you meet.  Lots of neat ways to honor the individuals and families who protect and serve our country.

Pizzas 4 Patriots (Illinois – donation-based): This organization sends pizzas to deployed troops.  Families can make donations supporting this effort.  They’ve been featured in various news outlets and partner with DHL (since 2008) for shipping.

Any Soldier.com - a way to send care packages including books to soldiers serving overseas.

Online Service

Freerice.com – this is an online trivia game where you can test your knowledge, review English vocabulary, prep for the SAT, even practice multiplication tables or chemistry symbols all while earning 10 grains of rice for every correct answer.  The advertisers donated money for each correct answer to the UN food programme which then purchases rice for the hungry all over the world.  Indicated for ages 8 and up!

Serving the Hungry

Freerice.com - this is an online trivia game where you can test your knowledge, review English vocabulary, prep for the SAT, even practice multiplication tables or chemistry symbols all while earning 10 grains of rice for every correct answer.  The advertisers donated money for each correct answer to the UN food programme which then purchases rice for the hungry all over the world.  Indicated for ages 8 and up!

Crafting for a Cause

Joshua’s Hands Valiant Warrior Quilting (Purcellville, VA) – this twice a year event is open to all ages with no sewing experience required.  My children participated last year and loved it (they were 8 at the time).  People come together in Purcellville, VA to make quilts that are then sent to wounded soldiers.  They also have opportunities for groups of children to participate off-site in making denim squares used to make the quilts or collecting and repurposing old Jeans.  If you have a quilter in the family you can also work on quilts at home.

Cards for Hospitalized Kids – this is an organization that distributes handmade cards to children who are hospitalized.  You make the cards at home or host a card-making party and send them to the organization for distribution.

Animals/Pets

Save the Tails - This is a homeless pet charity that works to get pets out of high-kill shelters and into foster and forever homes.  They have volunteer needs including the need for foster families and dog handlers at adoption events.  Located in Northern VA – Loudoun County

Friends of Homeless Animals – A no-kill shelter located in Aldie, VA.  There is a long list of volunteer opportunities on their website including pet transport, cat snugglers, maintenance work, foster families and more.

The Humane Society of Loudoun County -

Faith-Based Organizations for Kids Doing Service

Kids with Purpose at St. James Episcopal Church in Leesburg VA

Service Learning Programs (designed for school groups)

(History) Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student Service Learning Programs through “The Journey Through Hallowed Ground: Gettysburg to Monticello” works in conjunction with 8th grade classrooms creating mini-movies about historical events and persons.

Volunteer Opportunities for High School/College Age

(Historical/Education)The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area has summer camp intern and special event volunteering opportunities available in Loudoun, Albemarle, Culpeper, VA and Gettysburg PA and Frederick MD.  This organization focuses on US history and Culture “encompassing Native American settlements; French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, Civil War battlefields, Civil Rights and World War I and I sites.

Service Through Donations

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground – This organization is looking for donors to sponsor trees as they create a 180 mile landscaped alley along rt. 15 to honor those who sacrificed their lives in the Civil War.  Each tree will be geotagged with the story of a soldier as well so families with connections to the Civil War can sponsor trees in honor of a particular soldier.

Save the Tails Rescue Group, Inc. – This is a homeless pet charity that focuses on getting animals out of high-kill shelters and into foster families – followed by permanent families.  Their web page lists a variety of items they are in need of including crates, dog beds, gas gift cards and financial assistance.

Pizzas 4 Patriots (Illinois – donation-based): This organization sends pizzas to deployed troops.  Families can make donations supporting this effort.  They’ve been featured in various news outlets and partner with DHL (since 2008) for shipping.

 

Serving Our Planet and the Environment

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy – This organization has lots of volunteer opportunities for both individuals and families who love nature.  Bluebird nestbox maintenance and building, stream monitoring, butterfly counts, even raising butterflies.  For individuals there are a variety of ways to get involved that focus on specific skillsets and interests.  Check out all the opportunities on their website.

Walking/Running for a Cause

 2 Million Dogs “Puppy Up” Walks – there are none listed yet in VA or MD but in case you might be traveling they are listed in other parts of the country throughout 2013.  This organization advocates research into canine cancer and comparative cancer research between canines and humans.

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