Tag Archives: community

Volunteering at Capital Area Food Bank


Last weekend, we volunteered at the Capital Area Food Bank in DC. We were tasked with filling boxes that will be distributed to families in need. Our group made up more than half of the afternoon volunteer shift that filled 900 boxes!

The boxes go around on a conveyor belt and each pair of volunteers adds it’s designated food can or package. The boxes sped up as the group gets better at filling them. We never quite got to I Love Lucy speed, but there were a few intense moments. It was a great experience and several of the au pairs said that they would be interested in going back and volunteering on their own. If you are interested in helping the Capital Area Food Bank, check out their Volunteer Information Page.

30 Hours of Service Update

Back in May, we announced that our cluster would be celebrating Au Pair in America’s 30th anniversary year with 30 Hours of Service in 2016.


J-Day Shoe Collection Event


Storm Drain Marking Project

We have done three project so far:

April 10 – Making Sandwiches for the Homeless (5 hours of service)

July 31 – J-Day Shoe Donation (3 hours)

August 9 – Storm Drain Project (6 hours)





Still to come…

September – Making Cards for Hospitalized Kids

October – Bowie International Festival


Celebrating APIA’s 30th Anniversary with Service

Au Pair in America launched the first U.S. au pair program in 1986. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year. Lisa and I discussed ways to celebrate this momentous occasion and came up with a plan for our cluster to carry out 30 Hours of Service in 2016.

Au pairs always enjoy opportunities to take part in service projects. We normally do one or two projects each year as a cluster. This year we are stepping up our game. We are looking for ways to volunteer in a variety of different types of charities (benefitting the homeless, children, animals, the environment, etc.) We will post updates as our projects continue. So, check back to see what we can do when we work together.

We have done one project so far:

April 10 – Making Sandwiches for the Homeless (5 hours of service)


Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 2.43.01 PM

How are we counting the 30 hours?

We are counting the time our group works on the project together (making sandwiches 1 1/2 hours), time preparing for event and purchasing supplies (2 hours) and time delivering them to DC Central Kitchen (1 1/2 hours.)



MLK Day of Service

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.

mlk day shopping

Disney Give a Day. Get a Disney Day FREE!!!

I recently found out about a very exciting program that is a win-win situation.  I am a firm believer in volunteerism.  Giving your time and talents to a worthy cause is a very rewarding experience and can help do so much good in the community.  Disney has a great program to thank people for giving time to organizations in their community.  Please read an overview below and go to their website for complete information and to sign up.
Program Overview (from the Disney website)
We want to inspire one million people to volunteer a day of service to a participating organization in their communities. So we’re celebrating these volunteers’ good works by giving each of them a 1-day, 1-theme park ticket to the Disneyland® Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort, free. There’s no better time to make a dream come true for others and let us make a few come true for you.
You must pre-register and sign up through this site to volunteer and complete your service at an eligible volunteer opportunity in the fifty United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or Canada to receive a ticket after verification of such service. Ticket quantities for this program are limited. You must be at least 18 to sign up. You may only sign up a maximum of 8 members of your household. Children must be at least 6 to participate in the program. One ticket per person, regardless of the number of times you volunteer. Program begins January 1, 2010 and continues until tickets are distributed or until December 15, 2010, whichever occurs first. Your voucher for a free ticket must be redeemed by December 15, 2010, and used on the same day of redemption.

Other terms and conditions apply. See complete Program Terms & Conditions and FAQs.

We Made Nearly 600 Sandwiches for the Homeless!

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.

First two au pairs to arrive getting right to work.

Sandwiches, sandwiches, sandwiches

Sandwich assembly line

Having fun making sandwiches

Having fun making sandwiches

Many hands make light work.

Striking a fun pose after all that hard work.

Group Photo with our Finished Sandwiches

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

Chicago Au Pairs Make Blankets for Project Linus

Last Saturday, 90 Au Pair in America au pairs made 100 fleece blankets for children in need.  The patterns were fabulous with everything from polka dots, soccer themes, dinosaurs, animal prints, dog-theme prints and more.  Each fleece blanket is fringed by hand.  The au pairs and counselors worked together to purchase the fleece and follow the blanket pattern instructions according to the Chicago chapter of Project Linus. Host families supported the project by donating fleece and blankets made ahead of time.

One host mom told her counselor that this project had a special meaning for her because her own son was seriously ill when he was born and was given a Project Linus blanket which they have kept.  When she found out her au pair was taking part, she said it brought tears to her eyes.

All who participated felt it was a worthy cause and a great way to give back to their community.


Au Pair in America Au Pairs from Chicago Area

Au Pair in America Au Pairs from Chicago Area