Volunteers are so important in carrying out our mission on a daily basis. They assist in almost every aspect of the agency—volunteering in the classroom, lending administrative support to the agency, and working on special projects to support our programs. They add that extra dimension to our classrooms by bringing joy and fun, whether it’s through a day of play or a simple visit to read a book to a class. They also lend their time, treasure and talent by serving on our Board of Directors, Policy Council, and Committees, ensuring that the agency has the vision, structure and resources needed for the future. We are grateful to our volunteers who enrich our activities and serve our children and families.
Here are two recent projects that have had a great impact.
Hasbro Day of Play
Last week, we had the opportunity to host some fantastic Hasbro Volunteers in our Head Start classrooms at the Berkshire Center. Sixteen fun-filled volunteers visited the classrooms and outdoor playground of Children’s Friend Berkshire Head Start Classrooms. The Hasbro team brought toys for both indoor and outdoor play. These childhood favorites were a true hit with the kids.
Outdoor sport games included Nerf Soccer, Nerf Football and Nerf Basketball. What better way to learn about math and science than to keep score, experiment with speed and velocity and utilize the perfect angle to score and make the shot and goal?
In the classrooms, the life time favorite board game Candy Land traveled and counted the path of favorite candy treats and surprise tricks and treasures. The game of Connect Four, based on the tic-tac-toe concept, enhanced strategy and visual patterning. All games were played demonstrating good sportsmanship in a spirit of team building. The children and adults had a wonderful day together!
Fidelity Investments Foster Care Project
A team from Fidelity Investments recently made “welcome” bags for the newborns, infants, and toddlers we serve, as well as the foster parents in our program. When a crisis hits a family, it may not be safe for children and their parents to live together. The reasons vary: medical catastrophe, mental illness, substance abuse, and children’s behavior problems are just a few. To help the family through the crisis, temporary separation is sometimes necessary. Foster parents provide a safe, temporary place for children to live while their birth parent(s) receive the help that they need.
A child may be removed from their home at any time and placed in a waiting foster home at any moment. In some cases, the placement is made directly from a hospital a few days after the child is born. Foster families have trained, prepared their home, and to their best of their ability their schedules. But when that call is received, it can be unexpected and the arrival of the child can happen quickly. There are many last minute items that are needed depending on the age of the child.
Welcome bags help ease this transition. They are essential in helping children feel safe and special as they settle into their new surroundings. Each bag included warm clothing and socks, a blanket, a new stuffed animal, along with a new book, sticker book, or coloring book. Within one week, eight out of twenty bags were used and they were a huge hit with the kids!
How to Get Involved
Children’s Friend offers many volunteer opportunities and there are many ways to get involved. Current opportunities are listed on our website at www.childrensfriendri.org and we are always open to suggestions and ideas as well! To volunteer or for more information, please contact Marissa Tuccelli at 401-276-4344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.