This is a sponsored post with the Niche Parent Network & Conference. All opinions are my own.
When I was 6 or 7 years old my mom woke me up on Thanksgiving Day and told me we were going to The Bowery in Manhattan. I had no idea what the Bowery was but I was excited because I would be getting on the train plus I loved going on “adventures” with my mom.
On the train ride my mom explained to me that we were going to a shelter to volunteer by serving food to the less fortunate. While she was explaining this to me, I still didn’t get the concept of why they would need us to help. Surely, the people that worked at the Bowery would be enough. I really didn’t get why we were even going.
When we arrived, I remember the environment being so open, warm and friendly. I was a very shy little girl (surprising right?) so I hid behind my mom whenever someone would say hi to me. There were so many people running around doing different jobs like cooking, cleaning and setting the table for the Thanksgiving service. Still unsure of where we fit in, I took in the scene around me and was amazed by how many people wore “volunteer” shirts.
The entire staff (volunteer and paid) were extremely friendly, and even though I was so young, they put an apron on me, gave me a hair net and some plastic gloves, placed me on the serving side of the sweet potatoes and showed me exactly how much to put in each plate. At first, I was terrified. It became so much easier after receiving so many smiles and thank you’s from the guests. The (then) new mayor Rudy Giuliani also made an appearance, shook my hand, TOOK MY SPOON, served one person–smiled for the camera and bounced! Gotta love these politicians! 🙂
I tell my mom all the time how much I appreciated that experience. Since I have been an adult I have held SOME sort of volunteer/community type of position. I am a Team Leader with New York Cares (You may remember that one time I volunteered in a Juvenile Detention Center!), I volunteered in a pantry in Harlem for 6 years before the travel became too hard after I had my second baby. Now I teach Zumba for free in my neighborhood and I also have a volunteer position at my church. I owe that all to my mother for showing me how good it feels to give back–I hope to do the same with my children.
There are so many people out there doing fantastic good for their communities!
As a result, independent Health Mart pharmacists are awarding $50,000 in grants to community health non-profits to recognize them for improving health and well-being in their communities.
Health Mart is celebrating the unsung Champions of Care in your community who are:
- Coaching adult/youth sports or starting sports leagues
- Taking extra special care of a sick loved one
- Bringing meals to the elderly
- Starting a violence prevention program in the community
- Paying for much needed medicines for someone who can’t afford them
- Or countless other examples!
Entering is simple. Just tell your story at http://budurl.com/healthmart about the good deed you or someone you know has done, and you could win the right to select the local non-profit of your choice to receive thousands of dollars to continue critically important work for the health of the community.
- A $30,000 grant chosen by the grand prize winner
- A $3,000 grant chosen by the 2nd place winner
- A $2,000 grant chosen by the 3rd place winner
- $1,000 grants chosen by each of 15 finalists
Do you volunteer in your community? What was your first volunteer experience? Will you be teaching your kids the importance of volunteering?