Giving Back & Volunteering: Why I Volunteer With My Kids by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead

Giving Back & Volunteering: Why I Volunteer With My Kids

My older son and I have enjoyed volunteering together in the past, and I decided my younger son was ready to join us. The boys, two of their friends and I went with our church group to a local organization called Mercy Mall, a “free clothing and housewares boutique with gently used items." While there are many ways to volunteer there, we helped with their "Cases of Hope" program, which supports women who will soon be released from prison. 

We filled suitcases with toiletries and a week's worth of clothing. We were given a woman's name, her size and her needs. The boys enjoyed "shopping" for her. As we gathered items, they noticed how crowded Mercy Mall was with people in need of clothing and other items, including families with children their own age. 

When we left, I asked them how they felt about the experience and what they had learned. They told me: "Everyone deserves help and kindness. We are all very fortunate. Many people need things that we take for granted. It feels good to help others." I left feeling grateful – grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with my sons, grateful to be able to help someone in my community and grateful that my boys got so much out of the experience. 

Learn more about Mercy Mall.

Photos: Mercymallva.org

Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
This is so wonderful, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead ! Thank you for all you do to give back, and inspire us to do the same. xoxo
Angie Lovero
Thank you for sharing! Mercy Mall is thrilled to have you and your boys as volunteers! Angie Lovero, Social Media Manager Mercy Mall
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
We were so happy to do it, Angie Lovero ! What a wonderful organization!
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Tiffany Zook : This one's right up your alley! xoxo

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