Volunteer as a Family!
By volunteering as a family, you are taking an important step toward raising a person who will be sensitive to the needs of others, who will have a head start on the path of giving back to the community, and who will leave the world in a better place than they found it. Each month, our early learning staff will create a volunteer activity that is age appropriate and engaging for kids 2-5 years old, while also being enjoyed by children up to age 12 (however, all ages are welcome!). Please note, a parent must accompany their child during the volunteer activity.
June 2021: Ecosystem Restoration Project at Darlin Creek Preserve
WHEN: June 26, 2021 between 10am – 1pm
WHERE: Darlin Creek Preserve, 8998 Lake Lucinda Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98512
We are happy to announce our next Caring Kids family volunteer event! Please join us for an ecosystem restoration project with the Capitol Land Trust on Saturday, June 26th, from 10am-1pm. We will be pulling invasive species at the Darlin Creek Preserve and learning about native plants. They have been working on restoring the forested habitat for some time and we will help with their efforts!
Darlin Creek Preserve is a 312-acre preserve in the Black River watershed near Capitol State Forest. This preserve protects hundreds of acres of recovering forest, 70 acres of diverse wetland habitat, Lake Lucinda, important wildlife habitat for state and federally listed species, and more than 2 miles of fish-bearing streams: Darlin, Dempsey, and Pants Creeks – all Black River tributaries that run through the property.
If you would like to attend, please fill out the registration form linked below and review the waiver form for this event.
January 2021: Two Family Volunteer Projects in One!
- Winter Care Kits Collection Drive
- Share your story about Caring Kids with us
Drive through drop off:
WHEN: January 30, 2021 between 10am and Noon.
WHERE: Child Care Action Council
3729 Griffin Lane SE, Olympia, WA 98501
Winter in Washington can be cold, wet, and unforgiving to those living without cold-weather gear. The Caring Kids family volunteer group is hosting a Winter Care Kits collection drive for families assisted this winter by the Family Support Center in Olympia. We will collect items to donate to the Family Support Center on January 30th. Please see the list of needed items below.
We also would love to hear your story! During the drop off, we will interview interested families, talking about their experience in the Caring Kids program. We will use the video at our upcoming Warm Hearts fundraising luncheon that raises money for all of Child Care Action Council’s early learning programming.
Winter Care Kit items needed:
- Hand warmers – lots of these!!
- Emergency blankets (silver ones)
- Hand sanitizers (small)
- Snacks (non-perishable, high fat, high-calorie)
- Small-sized lotions
- Gloves (new)
- Ziplock bags (quart and gallon size)
- Small flashlights with batteries
- Lighters and matches
- Chicken, Tuna salad, or cracker pre-made packs found at the Dollar Store.
By helping us create winter care kits you are extending a warm hand to families in our community that need it most.
November Project: Holiday Mail for Heroes
Caring Kids is partnering with the American Red Cross at Joint Base Lewis and McChord to decorate holiday cards and write holiday messages to deployed soldiers and soldiers away from their families this holiday season. You can either make your own cards or pick up your card kit at our Olympia office. Additionally, the Red Cross is also seeking cookies to accompany the cards. Please donate store bought cookies if you can.
Let us know if you would like to participate by filling out this short registration form.
Families who would like to decorate and write messages in pre-made cards can pick-up next week (contact-less pick-up/drop off: we will have a container outside of our office). November 16 – 20th.
Pick-up/Drop-off Cards Location:
Child Care Action Council, 3729 Griffin Lane SE, Olympia, WA 98501
Drop off of cards and cookies will be November 30 – December 3rd in order to get them to the soldiers on time. Sign-up to volunteer here:
Sign-up to volunteer as a family for Holiday Mail for Heroes: HERE!
We are partnering with Puget Sound Energy to get families prepared for when the power goes out by building an emergency kit! The great thing is, that for each kit you build for your family build, PSE will donate an emergency kit to a family in need. Simply send us a picture of your emergency kit (send to email@example.com) and Puget Sound Energy will donate a disaster kit to a family in need.
Here’s what you will need for your three-day Emergency Kit:
- A backpack or rolling suitcase to hold your supplies
- Water—at least a gallon per person, per day
- Non-perishable food: such as dried fruit, peanut butter, or energy bar
- Rain pancho and leather gloves
- Small radio, ideally a hand-crank or solar-powered NOAA radio
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First Aid kit- An Emergency blanket and a whistle
If you have infants, please remember to also include:
- Diapers and wipes, baby food and formula.
Check out a full list of items here and make it fun by making it into a scavenger hunt: https://www.ready.gov/…/emergency_checklist_kids.pdf
Canned Food Drive for the Thurston County Food Bank
Ask your child to select a few items from your pantry to give to children and families who are hungry. Work together and go through your pantry and select a few canned good items that you are able to donate. Tell them that your family is able to provide your child with everything you need and now we can share with others who are hungry. Then bring your canned good items to one of the locations listed below (please remember to wear your mask and stay six-feet or more away from people).
Items most needed:
The Food Bank is seeking high protein canned food (examples include: ravioli, stew, tuna fish), Mac N Cheese, and also fruit pie filling (they are already working to put together over 5,000 boxes for Thanksgiving: usually this is done with thousands of volunteers the month leading up to Thanksgiving, but with COVID-19, they have to start now!).
Where to drop off your donations:
Bring your canned good items to one of the locations listed below (please remember to wear your mask and stay six-feet or more away from people).
BEST LOCATION: Warehouse & Distribution Center
2260 Mottman Rd SW
Tumwater, WA 98512
8:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday. Closed Washington State holidays.
Client Services Center
220 Thurston Ave NE
Olympia, WA 98501
Haggen’s – 1313 Cooper Point Rd SW, Olympia
Grocery Outlet – 8221 Martin Way, Lacey
Talk to your kids prior to the project:
To introduce the volunteer activity, it’s important to talk to children about hunger, and inspire them to take action to fight hunger. Our Raising A Reader program recommends the book “Stone Soup” (multiple versions on the story are available). While you are reading, ask your child questions such as:
- Have you ever shared anything with someone? What did you share? And why did you share it?
- Why does sharing making you happy?
- Why is sharing the right thing to do?
- How does the other person feel when you share with them?
Introduce the volunteer activity by mentioning that the food that their family is donating from their pantry will be given to families who are hungry. Let them know that by volunteering, they are able to help other children who do not have enough food to eat.
Another great resource and activity book is available through Feeding America and tell your child a story about someone who struggles with hunger. This activity book prompts you to ask questions like:
- What does it feel like to be hungry?
- What would you do if you couldn’t eat for a whole day?
- What things might be harder to do while hungry?
Upcoming virtual projects are under development. If you have any ideas for great projects, please contact Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of Caring Kids!
November 2019: Caring Kids celebrated its one year anniversary! Since our first service project, aimed at giving our youngest of volunteers a meaningful experience, we have:
- Partnered with 12 organizations doing great work in Olympia.
- Contributed 325 volunteer hours — that’s 216 children and their parents volunteering to help at each of our 1.5 hour projects
- Connected to the volunteer experience by reading books tailored to the project.
- Shared healthy snacks together and learned about each of the organizations we have helped.
While Caring Kids is a program of Child Care Action Council, it is run by volunteers. We are thankful for the help of our supporters who have provided food and safety equipment for volunteer participants including Safeway in Hawks Prairie Mall, the Sustaining Fund of the Food Coop, GRuB Farms, and Kiwanis Food Garden.