Last week, as I was perusing Facebook, I came across the most interesting conversations in one of the parent forums.  The comment that prompted the conversation was simple: “I’m looking for a place to take the kids so we can volunteer our time and give back. Any recommendations?”

The responses that flooded the conversation were overwhelming!  So many great suggestions and ideas!  We at Live Civilly were thrilled to see the wonderful responses coming from the community about the ideas of service.

Live Civilly IS a Youth Service Organization.  Our goal is to get young people involved in their communities and to allow them opportunities to participate in hands-on activities.  This year, as an extension of the Live Civilly Community Service Club, many of our participants have created their own service initiatives, either independently or with their families.  We want to share a few of those that are going on right now and encourage more young people to get involved!  Below are submissions from a few of our former Club Members about their service experiences and what they have chosen to do!

Code Blue Clothing DriveCODE BLUE SHELTERS, BURLINGTON COUNTY:  “Hello! My name is Hannah Babcock and last year I worked with the Live Civilly Community Service Club. This group was a great learning experience for me and offered many ideas on how to be a productive part of my community. For the last three years my family and I have helped with another local organization called the code blue shelters. These are temporary shelters for our homeless in Burlington County and they open up when the temperature goes below freezing. Many people die on the streets because they do not have proper protection from the elements and these shelters literally save lives. This year, we are asking other members of our community to pitch in a donate left over sheets, blankets, towels, winter coast, hats, gloves, sock etc. for these homeless people. You can also donate your time by serving food when the shelters are open. If you have any questions contact live civilly. Thanks!”  Thank you Hannah, and your family!!  If you are interested in donating to the CODE BLUE SHELTERS in Burlington County, please email kristen.babcock@yahoo.com or contatc@livecivilly.org. Drop off locations are 189 Highland Ave. and Wing King at 219 West Camden Ave. please call Kristen Babcock at 484-319-6021.

From homeless shelters to pet shelters!  From food drives to clothing drives to blankets!  Volunteering with Nursing Homes, Hospital outreach facilities and Soup Kitchens…there are hundreds of ways that individuals can give back and share their time and talents.  Live Civilly’s mission is to encourage our youngest community members to get involved early.  By establishing a pattern of giving early on it becomes a habit…a good habit!

TOYS FOR TOTS TOY DRIVE:  Another outcome of the Live Civilly Community Service Club was the upcoming Toys for Tots Drive!  Club Members Melissa and Samantha Krasner and Grace and Abby Buss decided to support the Burlington County Chapter of Toys for Tots this December.  As stated by the national website, “the objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.”

When asked what prompted them to support this cause the Krasner girls responded with “We just wanted to help!  There are many people in Burlington County that need help during the holidays and Toys for Tots is a great way to make kids feel happy!”  “While we were in the Community Service Club we thought about ways that we could help other children,” said Abby.  Grace added, “helping families to have a nice holiday season makes us feel good – like we’re helping Santa!”

Toys for Tots Collections will take place at the Upper Elementary School from Tuesday December 1 through December 14.  And, Community Service Club members will be at the Moorestown Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Moorestown Community House on Monday, December 7!  For more information check the live civilly website or email contact@livecivilly.org.

We are so pleased that so many of our Community Service Members are taking the time to get involved in other local projects and help their community in so many ways!  The Live Civilly Community Service Club Members are young people who are getting involved in their communities to recognize social needs and making differences in the lives of others.  These children are our next generation of decision makers with a social conscience.  They are living proof that good habits start early…it really is all about people helping people helping people helping people!!!