Helping Hands in the Community Program Bulletin
No Money Required! Projects your club can accomplish with little outlaw of your own cash!
There are many projects clubs can participate in which involve little out-of-pocket expense.
»Canine Companions for Independence | www.CCI.org If you can't be a puppy raiser, you can adopt a puppy raiser and help defray the cost of food, supplies, and veterinary bills that they occur. Most people don't realize that when you raise a puppy for CCI, this truly becomes your community service project because you are responsible for the cost of food, treats, toys, veterinary visits for shots, neutering or spaying, etc. There is no reimbursement from CCI. Talk to local veterinarians to see if they would be willing to donate their services for the duration of the time the puppy is with the family, usually about 18 months. Go to local pet stores to see if they would adopt the puppy raiser by supplying one bag of food per month for the duration also. Many businesses are willing to help if they know it is for a specific time frame.
»Easter Seals | www.EasterSeals.org. Set up collection bins in local businesses to collect, empty laser and inkjet cartridges, used cell phones, laptops, PDA's and IPODS. Easter Seals recycles these items using the money to help families. Contact local craft stores to see if they would be willing to donate material and use one of you club meetings to sew occupational therapy vests for children.
»Habitat for Humanity | www.Habitat.org. Your club can serve as the "contractor" between Habitat for Humanity and the community for providing donations and services. Use the contacts you have within your community to get donations of materials, suppliers, and volunteers for their next house.
»Heavenly Hats | www.HeavenlyHats.com. Clubs can contact local businesses to donate new hats for cancer patients. Once you have enough hats to send, contact a different business to underwrite the cost of shipping the hats. Businesses will often donate goods or services if they are asked to do it, and if they know that other businesses are helping out as well. Thank them for their donations in a Letter to the Editor, or newspaper article, giving the business some "free" publicity.
»Hunger in America | www.HungerInAmerica.org | www.FeedingAmerica.org. With today's economy and the cost of fuel, families often have to make a choice between feeding their family or putting gas in their car to get to work. More and more families are turning to food banks. Ask your local food bank for a list of the most needed items and contact a local supermarket to see if you can put a collection box with a flier asking customers for the most needed items to be placed in the boxes. In Florida, the Publix stores make up bags with needed supplies (food, school items, etc.) and label the bags. They usually have two sizes/prices, and they are available near the door when people come in or near where they check out. They are available for Back to School, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and just any time to collect food. This is a painless way to donate. The consumer is asked to just add a bag of food to their grocery items when paying, and then the store takes the bags and donates them to the appropriate place. Clubs could work with stores to do this. The club could contact their local food bank for a list, make up the bags from store stock, provide printed lists to attach to the bag so people know what they are "buying" to donate, and set a price - maybe the stores would be willing to underwrite some of the cost, and share some with the customers who buy the bags. The club could then arrange to Pickup the bags from the store and take them to the food bank.
»March of Dimes | www.MarchOfDimes.org. The "Walk America" sponsored by the March of Dimes is now called, "March for Babies." You can help publicize the event, sponsor a walker, and/or sponsor a water stop along the walk route.
There are dozens of ways for your club to get involved! Remember to report all the ways your club serves its community.
—Shirley Holly, GFWC Home Life Department-Helping Hands in the Community Chairman