Volunteer Project: Homemade Greeting Card
Make a senior citizen's day with this (not so) random act of kindness.
- Junior artist:Your child
- Senior artist:Elderly man or woman
- Artists' colony:Senior center or assisted-living facility
- Blank cards:You can either use blank sheets of paper and fold them in half or get cool high quality blank greeting cards from your local craft store or online at Cheap Joes.
- Art supplies:Paper, crayons, paint, paintbrushes, glitter and stickers. Whatever your child loves to use to create her masterpieces.
- Chauffeur:That's you.
- Locate an assisted living facility, nursing home or senior center in your town. To find one, check your local yellow pages or search for one online. Seniors for Living allows you to input your ZIP code and select the type of facility (i.e., assisted living, independent living, etc.) you are looking for, while Senior Centers allows you to search by state.
- Call the facility ahead of time to ask for its volunteer visiting hours. Check to make sure it's OK for your kid to bring art supplies into the facility. Depending on your comfort level, you may want to visit the center ahead of time without your kid.
- On the big day, bring your child to the senior center and encourage her to involve one (or more) of the elderly residents in making greeting or holiday cards for their friends and family. She can lead them in decorating the blank cards with glitter, stickers, paint and crayons.
- If your child enjoys her visit, encourage her to make it a regular thing. She can visit weekly, biweekly or monthly and start to make an impact, one art project at a time.
- Dress your baby or toddler in his finest and bring him with your older child to the senior center. Seeing your little one all gussied up will put a smile on even the grumpiest oldster's face. Just watch out for the cheek-pinchers or your baby might never forgive you!
- Looking for more ways to help the elderly community? Have your kid volunteer as a bingo caller for a senior citizen's center or make blackout boxes for seniors in your neighborhood.
- Check out our ages and stages guide to volunteering opportunities.