Every community needs volunteers. If the children are too young to help at a food pantry or soup kitchen you can simply take a trash bag and clean up a local park to make it more pleasant for everyone. Be sure to wear plastic gloves and don’t touch broken glass.
Rockledge Elementary had their Annual Holiday Shop on Friday, 12/6. Au Pair in America sponsored the arts & crafts activities: providing the craft supplies as well as some volunteers to assist the children. Four au pairs volunteered: Joanne from Colombia, Pamela from Brazil Ana from Costa Rica and Yuli from Mexico. In addition to being an au pair, Yuli is a professional photographer and she volunteered to take the pictures of the children with Santa.
I want to thank the au pairs who gave their time on Saturday, October 5 to provide children’s activities at the Bowie International Festival. Here are some photos.
Rockledge Elementary had their Annual Holiday Shop on Friday, 12/9. Au Pair in America sponsored the arts & crafts activities: providing the craft supplies as well as some volunteers to assist the children. Three au pair volunteered: Alex from Austria, Šárka from the Czech Republic and Sabrina from Germany. The students kept us busy! One of the volunteers, Šárka said, “I´m glad I was there, it was a nice time with the kids.”
You can see more pictures from the Holiday Shop here in the article on the Bowie Patch.
American Institute For Foreign Study has a great educational program called Global Awareness. Global Awareness is designed to promote multi-cultural understanding and appreciation in elementary and middle school classrooms. Au pairs volunteer in classrooms and other community settings, sharing their culture and language.
There was recently a Global Awareness competition where au pairs were encouraged to share ideas for games and activities from their homeland. Prizes were awarded for the best submissions.
We have a winner in our cluster…
Flor from Guatemala!
Anyone who know Flor will probably not be surprised to hear that she won. She is a wonderful cultural embassador and a lot of fun to be around. Congratulations, Flor!
Monday, January 17, 2011 is the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr Day holiday.
Dr. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. Dr. King’s life was devoted to public service. In honor of his legacy, volunteers across the country donate their time to make a difference on this day.
If you have Monday off, I encourage you to find a volunteer opportunity in your area. Here are two websites to get you started:
My Plans for Monday
I have spoken to my kids about what they would like to do on Monday. We have decided to go grocery shopping for donations for the Bowie Food Pantry and to prepare casseroles for Sarah’s House, a homeless shelter on Ft. Meade. If I get some good pictures, I will post them next week.
If any of you (au pairs or host families) get photos from service projects you do, please send them to me, so I may share them.
Update: Here is a picture of my kids outside the store after our trip to the grocery store to buy donations for the food pantry. We didn’t end up making our casseroles for the shelter that day, so that will be a project for another time.
We participated in the City of Bowie International Festival at Allen Pond Park on Saturday, October 2, 2010. We had beautiful weather, fabulously talented au pairs and lots of eager children ready to try our activities. Some of our activities were: painting flags on the children’s hands, creating beaded bracelets, doing geography games and showing people how to write their names in Thai.
Below are some photos. Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of everyone who helped at the event. We had a very busy time with lots of kids coming through and I wasn’t able to get photos of some of the volunteers in the middle of the day.
Yesterday, we had a cluster meeting where au pairs gave their time to prepare sandwiches for the homeless. We were joined by a few moms and cub scouts from Pack 403. Thank you to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church for allowing us to use the parish hall. Together, we were able to make almost 600 sandwiches!!! These sandwiches are going to the DC Central Kitchen to feed homeless people in Washington, DC.
I want to thank everyone who showed up, brought bread, made sandwiches and helped us surpass my initial goal of 400 sandwiches.
Here are a few photos.
First two au pairs to arrive getting right to work.
Sandwich assembly line
Having fun making sandwiches
Many hands make light work.
Striking a fun pose after all that hard work.
Group Photo with our Finished Sandwiches
At least once per year, we have a cluster meeting that is a service project. Some of our past volunteer/community service events include:
- DC Help the Homeless Walk
- Bowie International Festival
- Preparing lunches for Habitat for Humanity
- Donating items to children affected by Hurricane Katrina
- Working at Silver Diner to raise money for Tsunami Relief
- Wrapping gifts for needy children
Here is a great article about an Au Pair in America EduCare Companion from Australia named Amy Hart.
It talks about her experiences here in the U.S. as well as the volunteer work she has done in her community.
A Year of Learning and Giving