By: Ainsley K., Grand Service and Rep. to SC/VA, Natoma
As a Rainbow Girl, we are told to do some service every day, and I’m sure your assemblies, before Covid, went out and did plenty of service. Maybe it was cleaning up your town, or helping at a food bank, or volunteering at a local school. Since the pandemic, it has become more challenging to find places to do service. We are Rainbow Girls and I know we won’t let even a pandemic stop us from serving our communities. There are plenty of safe ways to go out and serve or do service from home.
Remember that service isn’t about how big the act is, even the smallest gesture can have the biggest impact on someone’s life. There are plenty of local organizations that are actively accepting donations such as hospitals, food banks, and shelters. You could organize a blood drive or donate blood. Sending cards to frontline workers, veterans, and those serving in the military is another way you can serve. Find a local senior center and write them cards, make them blankets, or reach out to see what else you can do to help. It can even be as simple as assisting a neighbor with yard work or picking up someone’s groceries. Your assembly can also organize a socially distanced beach, park, or creek clean-up. Perhaps if crafting is one of your talents, you could tie no-sew blankets, make reusable masks to donate, or knit baby hats to give to your local hospital. I challenge you all to go out and find a way to serve because we are California Rainbow and we are unstoppable.
When the world is upside down, how do we keep service in our hearts and hands? This year, California Rainbow is looking for girls to think outside of the box. The girls selected to serve on this team will be in charge of planning and executing a Statewide Service Project during the 2021 Grand Year!
See the flyer for more information on this exciting new opportunity!
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!
We are so proud to announce that together the California International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (IORG) has made 12,422 masks, 410 “ear savers”, 31 hospital gowns, and 24 eye masks! Some of these masks were donated to women and children’s centers, child welfare workers, homeless populations, medical personnel, senior facilities, and social workers. We loved seeing the participation in this event and know this will be helpful to local communities. We would like to thank everyone who has helped so far and challenge you to find a way to serve your community this week.
If you would also like to make a mask, our members created how-to videos that can be found here.
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a community service based organization for girls ages 11-20. Our order was founded in 1922 on the pillars of hope, love, and service. Today, we build leaders by teaching our members about public speaking, community service, how to run business meetings, and more. Members meet biweekly, hold various events throughout the year, and then join together for our statewide convention in the spring. To stay true to CA Rainbow’s mission to get girls ready for life during this time, we have adapted to meeting virtually, teaching video conference etiquette, and hosting interactive statewide challenges. Our most recent activity was our statewide mask challenge where members and alumni were asked to make masks for their local communities.