New Non-Profit Provides Austin Community with Opportunities to Engage Young Children in Volunteerism

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Little Helping Hands Celebrates September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance by Providing Care Packages for U.S. Troops in the Middle East

Family volunteers make lunch for guests of the Ronald McDonald House

The children will get the opportunity to pick out and collect the items for the care packages and actually assemble them and mail them out themselves.

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Little Helping Hands today officially launched as a nonprofit focused exclusively on engaging young children in volunteerism. Through the Little Helping Hands website, parents can easily view and sign-up for volunteer opportunities suitable for young children that fit their family's interest and schedule. The organization partners with other nonprofits, businesses, or schools to create volunteer activities, or provides volunteers needed to support existing projects. Little Helping Hands has already successfully completed projects with several local Austin groups including Dream Dinners, Keep Austin Beautiful and the Ronald McDonald House.

"I started Little Helping Hands to inspire community service in early childhood and to show that it can be a fun and positive learning experience for the entire family," said Marissa Vogel, Founder and Executive Director of Little Helping Hands, "Introducing children as young as 4 to volunteerism creates a foundation for acts of compassion, generosity, and responsibility throughout adolescence and into adulthood - not to mention a wonderful way to spend time together as a family."

The timing of the launch purposefully coincides with September 11, the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Little Helping Hands is partnering with The Children's School and Airborne Angel Cadets to send 20 care packages of basic needs items to soldiers and troops serving in the Middle East.    

"This is a great opportunity to not only teach our younger students about patriotism and why we're celebrating this special day of remembrance, but combine it with volunteerism," said Sherri Wallin, School Head of The Children's School. "The children will get the opportunity to pick out and collect the items for the care packages and actually assemble them and mail them out themselves."            

Little Helping Hands programs involve hands-on activities that can be completed within a time frame appropriate for young children. Examples include meal preparation/assembly, event set-up/clean-up, park/city clean up, arts & crafts, sorting or organizing, gardening/planting/harvesting, decorating, and fundraising support. Most activities occur on weekends or after school and support a variety of causes including children or families in need, the homeless, animal welfare, R&D for diseases, people with disabilities, the elderly, and the environment.

About Little Helping Hands
Little Helping Hands provides ongoing opportunities to educate young children about the value of community service while at the same time providing a fun and positive learning experience for the entire family. By accessing the Little Helping Hands website, families can easily sign-up for volunteer opportunities suitable for young children. Additionally, Little Helping Hands will work with educators in local schools to augment existing curriculum and service learning programs and with local businesses to create or enhance employee community service programs with family volunteer opportunities. For additional information, please visit http://www.littlehelpinghands.org.

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