By Kala Shah
As we jump into the throes of planning for this year’s second annual Day of Giving, I think about how far we’ve come this past year with the Go Inspire Go Community Heroes program.
Most notably, we’ve expanded from our initial pilot at Sun Valley School in San Rafael, Calif., to involve Kent Middle School this past September and more recently, Dixie Elementary and Mary Silveira Elementary. That’s about 2,000 Marin County kids we’ve reached directly with our message of compassion and action! Hundreds of them are actively exercising their “What can YOU do?” power thinking about ways in which they can help others — organizing collection drives, participating in clean-ups and simply thinking about being kinder to everyone around them. Lighting that spark and wondering what these kids may do in the future is all the motivation I need to keep going.
I look back to last year’s Day of Giving — the “first annual” as it turns out. I view it as a game-changer for Community Heroes and for me, personally. I embarked upon this experiment more than two and a half years ago, without really wondering where it might take me. This Day of Giving video from last year’s event answers my questions about whether the program is making an impact.
The kids are saying things like “I’m excited about helping people who are sick in the hospital,” “We think helping others is better than helping ourselves,” and “It makes me feel good inside because I know I’m making the community a better place.” Excited, joyful kids helping others on a Sunday — that’s the potential we’re helping unleash and fuel through Community Heroes.
Not only the kids, but even adults and some companies have taken a cue from our acts of giving. An unexpected consequence from making superhero capes at last year’s Day of Giving is that we proved those capes really do have super powers! Hands On Bay Area liked the idea so much that they’ve replicated the activity with several of their corporate partners as in-house volunteer days for their employees. Capes are fun to make and they’re meaningful to the giver and receiver. Thanks again to our original cape-making inspiration, Amy Pankratz of Wonder Capes.
And now all four Community Heroes schools are joining together for one whopping Day of Giving! We will be conducting more than 15 service projects on Sunday, March 1 in Marin County to benefit at least 10 different nonprofit organizations — from helping the homeless, foster kids and patients with cancer, to cleaning up our neighborhoods. Keep your eyes open for bake sales to support our Day of Giving…. All this good does require supplies and resources!
See promotional flier for list of service projects and benefiting organizations.
What can YOU do?
1. If you’d like to join the fun on March 1 and volunteer for the Day of Giving, please contact Kala Shah.
2. Please consider donating to our cause. We want to make the Community Heroes program sustainable and reach more kids and schools!
3. If you’d like to have the Community Heroes program at your school, drop us a line!
Kala Shah is Chief Alchemist of Partnerships and Programs and co-founder of Community Heroes.