Let’s RUSH towards membership this October by showing our friends and followers all that we love about CA IORG! Each week this month, following along with the RUSH Social Media Challenge and your social media. Together we can grow!
By Hope C.
COVID-19 has created an unusual atmosphere for everyone. Many of our usual activities aren’t safe to participate in right now, but social distancing does not have to stop us from giving back to our communities! Whether you’re just looking for a productive way to kill time, want to do good in the world, or need service hours for your college applications, virtual volunteering will be perfect for you.
Work Around Your Schedule
In typical times, it can be hard to find the time to volunteer while being busy with school, work, or other activities. The idea of adding yet another venture into your schedule can feel overwhelming. While in this pandemic, most people have been able to find more free time, making this the perfect opportunity for acts of service. Pull out your calendar and think about how much time you are able and willing to give. Are you planning to take lead on a brand new project or help others who have already started?
Reach Out to Senior Citizens
Quarantine and social distancing have resulted in feelings of isolation and loneliness for countless people. Some of those affected most by this are the eldest members of our communities. They are at a higher risk for COVID and are likely yearning for connection in these uncertain times. Make phone/facetime calls, send cards, or make small gifts/care packages to send to senior citizens. You could also reach out to a local care home or nursing facility and ask how you can help. It can be as simple as playing virtual chess, checkers, or bingo. These are all simple and take little effort, but can bring such joy to others
Cheer Up Essential Workers
Along with senior citizens, essential workers will be touched by your kindness. Many are making cards, signs, care packages, and posters to thank the health care workers who are working to keep us safe. Similarly to this, you can do these things for other essential workers. Think about the people in your community that are putting their health at risk while going to work each day. Choose any one, whether it is a firefighter, nurse, or grocery clerk.
Join a Service Organization
There are plenty of service groups that are still meeting virtually! Look into what you have near you. The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is an amazing youth group centering around leadership, service, and sisterhood. More information can be found at https://gocarainbow.org. There are other groups as well such as Girl Scouts, 4H, and church youth groups. See what is right for you and available in your community
Be a Tutor
Try out virtually tutoring younger students. Is there a class or subject that you excel at and enjoy? Chances are, there’s someone who would love your help with their learning. Schools are reopening and your academic skills could boost someone’s grades as well as their confidence. If you know younger students, you can reach out to them personally or go straight to local schools and teachers who can set you up with the students that will benefit from your help.
Make Blankets or Teddy Bears
Many hospitals and fire stations have the option to pick up teddy bears that are pre-sewn to be stuffed and donated. You can sew, crochet, or knit your own as well! Donate them and bring a smile to a child’s face. In addition, you could make blankets to donate. If you’re not great at needlework, there’s nothing to worry about. Tie blankets are just as comfy and they couldn’t be easier to make! You can donate these to somewhere local like a hospital, animal shelter, or to the homeless. You can also send them to organizations such as the Painted Turtle: a free camp for children with serious medical conditions. They even have easy to understand directions here: https://www.thepaintedturtle.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/fleece_blanket_flyer.pdf?1556639876.
Donate Extra Items
With the extra time COVID has gifted to you, you can get organized while giving back! Clean out your closet and dresser drawers. You probably have plenty that you have outgrown or no longer wear. Throw them in the wash and donate them to someone in need! There are plenty of well-known options such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill, but there are also local nonprofits in every community. Do your research and donate your clothing, toys, books, etc. to whatever you see as the best fit.
Make A Change
Create or sign petitions for changes that you believe in. Take on issues that are global or local and use sites such as https://www.change.org. You can also make calls and send emails to communicate with mayors, governors, and other leaders. Spread the word and fight for what you believe in!
Acts of Service
People now are in need of service and kindness more than ever, and as simple as these things seem, you can truly make an impact on the world. This is just a small list including only a few of the numerous ways you can make a difference. Think outside of the box and don’t give yourself limits when it comes to acts of service. No matter the reason that you have decided to volunteer, you are about to make people’s lives a little brighter!
By Colleen W.
It’s back-to-school time and we all have clothing that we loved last year that is either too small, too worn, or just out of fashion now, but we still love the piece. I am going to show you how easy it is to create a brand new tote bag from your worn-out jeans.
- The first thing you need to do is mark where you are going to cut. For the body of the bag, you want to draw a line as close to the crotch seam as you can. You can always go lower if you want to use the legs as a double pouch too. Next, you will need to measure 2 handles on one of the legs about 2 ½ inches wide and 20” long. If your leg isn’t wide enough, no worries, there is a backside to the leg and you still get 2 out of one leg.
- Now you’ll want to cut along those lines so that you have the body of the bag and 2 strap pieces.
- Next, you will turn the body of the bag inside out and stitch about a ½” from the edges of the bottom to close your bag. While you’re at it stitch the zipper closed. Then turn the straps right sides together and stitch along the edge to create a tube. Carefully turn your tubes inside out so the right side is showing and your seam is hidden.
- Then stitch your straps where you would like on the waistband of your bag. I chose to use the front belt loops as an attachment point, but you can put them wherever is most comfortable for you.
And there you have it, a zippy little tote bag you can use anytime!
By Elise S.
Being shut in doesn’t mean we have to shut out opportunities to support one another and promote your non-profit youth group. In fact, new ideas for ways to stay connected seem to be popping up every day! Here are a few to inspire you to reach out and stay connected during the COVID-19 Pandemic!
1. Host a Facebook or Instagram Live Q&A About Your Organization
Since people are more active on social media, this is the perfect opportunity to spread the word about your youth group! You can create a Facebook and/or Instagram Live event to tell everyone why you love your organization so much. Write out an agenda for your presentation, and try to involve everyone in the group. Be sure to include a few pictures and descriptions of group activities in your presentation. To be prepared ahead of time, have everyone write out what they plan to say, as well as some fun facts about your non-profit, and some ice-breaker questions to get the conversation started. You also write out some typical questions and answers, and even invite alumni to join you and talk about how your youth group has helped them in college and careers!
2. Drive-By Parades.
Have you seen what teachers and friends have been doing for each other? They have been holding drive-by parades or “carades” for their students or friends! So, why not do the same thing with the youth members and adults! Not only is this encouraging to the members, and an excuse to get out of the house, but it is also a great publicity tool! You might even want to make posters and decorate your car to cheer up your friends (and for even more publicity)!
3. Wear your Organization Shirts and Merch on your Video Calls.
Have you ever noticed athletes and public figures wearing hats and shirts with company logos? They’re doing this to promote a company or organization they support! We can do the same thing when video calling friends (and let’s admit it, we’re spending lots of time on video calls)! A t-shirt can be a conversation starter! Who knows, you may even get to talk about it with your friends and gain a prospective member!
4. Write Letters or Make Calls to Members.
Something that makes everyone happy is getting letters! One way we can encourage each other is by sending letters to active and inactive members. Another way you can keep in touch with members and adults is by giving them a call! This is a good way to cheer up, stay connected and reconnect with alumni, inactive members, active members, and adults!
5. Have a Virtual Game Night.
Another way you can have fun and stay inside is with online games! Have a Zoom call while you play on-line games, bingo or multi-player card games so you can talk during the game! You can plan this with your youth group and invite prospective members!
And don’t forget – encourage your members to share on social media using hashtags. Choose popular hashtags for a higher chance of the general public landing on your accounts, such as #fun #kids #stayinghome. Use a hashtag generator site such as https://ritetag.com/ or https://hashtagify.me/. It’s also good to include hashtags that are member only used hashtags in your organization and/or for an event. The International Order of The Rainbow Girls California https://gocarainbow.org/ uses #caiorg and #whyitainbow. It will help keep members posts organized in one hashtag location.
By doing these 5 simple things you can boost spirits, have fun, stay connected and share about your organization! This is just a start to the activities you could host!