family volunteer day

This post was sponsored by generationOn as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” —Aesop

In hopes of talking less and doing more when it comes to helping others, I’ve started a series I’m calling Good Samaritan Saturday. On Saturday mornings, I’ll post a little something you can do to start your weekend out with positive vibes by helping to lift someone else up…


Slowly but surely we’re heading into that super busy time of year. You can tell by the way the holiday decorations are creeping closer and closer to the doors of all the craft stores (#notready).

I always have the best of intentions during the holidays. I want to teach my kids to be giving—not just to friends and family members, but to people who really need a little extra love. Somehow it manages to get lost in the shuffle of activities and to-do lists and the hibernation that comes along with snow and ice. But giving back to your community doesn’t have to be this huge, time-consuming endeavor. With the right resources and a healthy dose of knowledge, your family can spread acts of kindness even while hunkered down during a snowstorm.

Enter generationON, whose mission is “to inspire, equip, and mobilize youth to take action that changes the world and themselves through service.”

Um, yes please! This sounds like exactly the type of organization a well-meaning momma like myself needs to actually take action and get her kids excited to do the same.

To kick my butt into gear even further, generationOn and Disney Friends for Change are working together to motivate thousands of families to volunteer in their local communities on Saturday, November 21st in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Family Volunteer Day—and to kick off the start of the holiday season with a warm, fuzzy, giving, bang.

Now, if you know me, you know I love a good deadline and a good project to put on my to-do list. And, if you’re anything like me, this is the perfect opportunity to make yourself think about and actually act on doing something positive for your community.

Whether you’re able to help out at a soup kitchen every Saturday, clean up your park once a month, or make cards to give out at the local nursing home when you’re stuck inside on a rainy day, any little bit of effort can make a big difference in someone else’s life—and teaching our kids that is huge.

So, I’m already planning what action the girls and I are going to take to give back. A little poking and prodding around the internet brought me to the Pajama Program, an organization that delivers warm pjs and books to kids in need.

family volunteer day | pajama program

Books are important to our family. Our most beloved ritual is reading bedtime stories each night. Samantha is nine and I still read to her every night—we’ve just traded in Goodnight Moon and Madeline for Harry Potter and The Baby-Sitters Club. The fact that there are so many kids that don’t have that little luxury—never mind a warm pair of pajamas to sleep in—is heartbreaking.

We’re going to do what we can to change that.

First, we’re going to start small by making bookmarks in our free time. Next, we’re going to buy some pajamas and books for kids in need. Lastly, I’m working on putting together a pajama/book drive party so we can get our friends and family to help us. I’ll let you guys know as soon as I iron out all of the details!

Now, to give you a little added incentive to start thinking about how you and your family are going to participate in Family Volunteer Day, I’m giving away a $100 Visa gift card.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below letting me know what your family might do to give back to your community. I’ll give bonus entries to anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram, just let me know in separate comments that you do!

The contest is open until next Saturday, October 24th. Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central.

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.