Blended Families

Slightly odd question

DSD (11) has to do service hours for school.  Technically she doesn't need to do any while she is here, she has until she graduates to get them but at the same time, BM is not doing anything to get her any.  So I was thinking about trying to get her some while she is here this summer. The problem is, our summer schedule is wacky in that it's random weeks throughout the summer, not eoweek or eomonth. I am having problems finding things that she can do with a random schedule and also things that she can do by herself or I can help her do with 2 little ones. It has to be something she doesn't get paid for, can't be at a for-profit business, can't be religious education related and can't be tasks for family members. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? I'm not trying to make her work her entire summer but she would like to start next year with a few more.
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Re: Slightly odd question

  • can she work at an animal shelter? i did this as a teenager and it was just a come if you can. (and i also didn't come when the vet came by to do "inspections")
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  • I second the animal shelter. Food pantries usually need volunteers, and it's normally a come when you can thing.

    Also, our local library loves having volunteers in the summer to help out with children's programs. They're super busy and it's easier for them than hiring summer employees.
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  • I would think trying to do them at one time events would be best like at a church or some type of service league event like a rummage sale, brat sale, clean up day, type of thing.  I know the animal shelter here only allows 16 and older now. 

    Im assuming there is some difference where you guys live and where her BM lives? Usually the school will put out announcements and ideas if they require service hours.  

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  • At her school do the service hours include, the time spend collecting items? With Girl Scouts, their service hours also come from prepping events or collecting or distributing. Collecting items for a homeless or woman's shelter, collecting items for a food drive, collecting items for an animal shelter.

    Also, there are homemade items you can make for animal shelters. She could have a drive or ask others to donate the materials and then she could make them.

    Look at  Operation Happy Sock: http://ohappysock.blogspot.com/ or scratch pads made out of old cardboard boxes http://www.designsponge.com/2009/01/diy-project-recycled-cardboard-kitty-pad.html Our scouts have done both of these. They made the scratch pads on a smaller scale than this website shows though.

    Any hours collecting the materials, creating or distributing the items counted in our service hours.

     

    DD(13),SD(12),SS(11),SS(9),DS(3)

  • A lot of volunteer positions are come as you can. So finding the opportunity is the challenge. I volunteered at a nursing home at 11 and 12, it's not for everyone, but I spent time helping feed lunch and visiting with the elderly and I enjoyed the stories and opportunity to serve. Do you have any neighbors or church friends that can use assistance with chores, yard work? Habitat for Humanity can use help. Any non profit is worth calling, stuffing envelopes, etc can be done for hours and fits the skill set for 11. Good luck!
  • ~~ Food Pantries or Soup Kitchens.

    ~~ Check with your local City Hall, she could volunteer to do a "park cleanup" one day and they would likely sign off on the "hours" of community service.

    ~~ Volunteer at a local nursing home (check with the activities therapists or recreational/activities department).  She could volunteer to come in and paint nails, or do "makeovers" or read to the elderly, or just visit with them.

    ~~ local hospitals/children's hospitals:  Volunteer to be a "candy striper" (not what they are called now, i'm sure) to pass out magazines, or puzzles or snacks to patients (when my daughter broke her arm, the Children's Hospital ER had volunteers coming around to read stories to the kids in the ER and to do games and puzzles with them, it was VERY cool!).

    ~~Local Animal Shelter: Volunteer to walk dogs or clean cages or whatever.

    ~~ Local Library:  Volunteer to re-shelve books.

    ~~ Local Senior Center:  Volunteer to do tasks for local seniors (i.e. mow lawn, clean a house, etc). 

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  • At our library you have to be 16 with a vulnerable sector police check. Just throwing that out there in case it's a requirement for your area.

    When I did my hours back in high school, I did cleaning for an elderly neighbour. Your SD could maybe cut grass, or weed a garden if she doesn't want to be inside a stranger's house.
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  • I'm from Ireland so I need further clarification on 'until she graduates'. When will she graduate? Are we talking months or years? If the latter then I vote for a care free kid summer.

    Wouldn't we all give anything for one more care free summer? Don't cut hers short unnecessarily!
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  • Does she attend a private school? I'm not sure public schools can mandate service in the community. Our district had a big to do over mandatory volunteer hours which are oxymoronic at best.

    Check the district website; there is likely a list of potential projects and guidelines. Our district gives a "seal" for 60 hours; DS earned his by turning in his community marching band performances- marching for the town's parades and Special Olympics. Similar arrangements exist for the athletes who work with the Special Olympics and the FTA kids who turo in the lementary schools. DS had probably 1000+ from scout activities- mostly working on Eagle Projects. Scouts tend to participate in projects all the time, so getting hours just happens.

    A lot of community organizations are not going to want an 11 year old in a "drop-off" situation. Many have liability issues that limit participation to 16+; the BSA self insures, so that wasn't as big a problem for my kids but there were places that didn't want kids under 16. The animal shelters would allow us younger kids on construction projects- we built a puppy park, renovated an office space and created a small pet cemetery- but animals were off limits.

    Sometimes meals on wheels or soup kitchens will allow kids to participate in stocking pantries, preparing breakfast bags or delivering meals with a parent. Local parks often have work crew days where a parent and child can remove invasive species, paint sheds, or work on trails.

  • Check your local churches for their Vacation Bible School dates.  They ALWAYS need assistants. 

    Sure, its a week of religion, but its religion for little ones, so lots of songs and color pages.  

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  • It has to be something she doesn't get paid for, can't be at a for-profit business, can't be religious education related and can't be tasks for family members.

    OP said it can't be religious education related. That's pretty typical of public schools here. Our district allows service hour credits for scout projects in and for places of worship for the kids helping the Eagle Scout candidate but not for the scout who is associated with the place of worship.

  • All PPs have had wonderful suggestions! Your public works department or city hall might have some opportunities, too. I know some places will let you volunteer at fire department or police stations or recycling centers. There are a lot of things minors can't do, but she could wash trucks, mop floors, file papers, etc.

    Good luck! I volunteered for years at my local animal shelter growing up, and it changed my life and taught me so much.
  • We have some kids here that are on probation and have to do community service - they clean the library, the stadium after games, etc.  Shelters always need help.  Nursing homes love having kids come in. I like the idea of making something to donate - dog shelters need dog beds and blankets, Operation Linus makes blankets for babies, fire/police often give dolls/stuffed animals to scared kids.  I know there are more out there. 
  • image Phantomgirl:
    I'm from Ireland so I need further clarification on 'until she graduates'. When will she graduate? Are we talking months or years? If the latter then I vote for a care free kid summer.

    Wouldn't we all give anything for one more care free summer? Don't cut hers short unnecessarily!


    Phantom, it's part of the high school graduation requirements. At least, where I went to school it was.

    I had to accrue 25 hours of community service before graduating. I could do all my hours when I was 12, or I could spread them out and do a few every year until I graduated. I think the hours have since increased, but that's the idea.

    Eta: I think I misread your comment. Yeah, a care free summer for SD would be nice. She may have to do a certain number of hours every year though. Depends on how they're organizing it.
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