What is Mandela Day? – Following the success of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in June 2008, a decision was made to celebrate Mr. Mandela’s birthday each year with a day dedicated to his life’s work and that of his charitable organizations, and to ensure his legacy continues forever.
The Mandela Day campaign message is simple: Mr. Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. Mandela Day is a call to action for people everywhere to take responsibility for making the world a better place. By becoming a Mandela Day Changemaker you can show that actions speak louder than words.
Get Involved: Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for social justice. Individuals, organizations and communities are urged to give 67 minutes of your day on July 18, 2012 in service. You can add to the initiative’s momentum by telling as many people as possible about it. 67 Ways To Change The World
Over the last five years that my daughter, JaMai, has organized her Pack-A-Purse Drive™ she has collected, sorted, and delivered a total of 951 purses and toiletries to teenage girls in homeless shelters, group homes, foster homes, and community programs. The annual Pack-A-Purse Drive was her brainchild – it spoke directly to her life as a teen girl. This year my nephew finally said what many people have probably been thinking – “What about the boys”. (I was actually surprised it took him this long to ask.)
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. This year during the month of May we WILL take care of the boys. We will launch the Pack-A-Backpack Drive™ in May 2012 to collect backpacks filled with toiletries/personal care items for teen boys in group homes and foster homes. Our goal for this first year is to collect 40 filled backpacks and deliver them to four organizations.
The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) numbers have consistently shown a slightly greater percentage of boys than girls in foster care.
If you’ve ever met me in person, read my blog, or follow me on social media you know that I am a HUGE proponent of volunteerism. I believe whole heartedly that civic engagement builds character, leadership, and confidence in youth. The right service opportunity can help youth develop compassion, responsibility, and critical thinking skills. I know firsthand that meaningful community service can also assist in career exploration as youth develop marketable skills.
Although we’re only in the second month of the New Year, there have been three opportunities to engage youth in volunteering and community service that I find significant. The first was the Youth Service America Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 16, 2012. We were encouraged serve our community and use the national holiday as a “day on not a day off”. I wrote a blog about it at http://theteentoolbox.com/how-will-your-youth-serve/) Second is the GOOD 30-Day Challenge: Become A GOOD Citizen which began on February 1, 2012. GOOD celebrates the diverse ways, both large and small, that we can give back to our community. Each day we are invited to perform a different task that will help us along the road of becoming a good citizen all year long. (You can read more at http://www.good.is/post/the-good-30-day-challenge-become-a-good-citizen/ ) February 13-19, 2012 was celebrated as Random Acts of Kindness Week. There is no mistaking the purpose of this week – show unexpected kindness to others. (You can read more at http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/RAK-Week/ ) I love and see the value in each of them!
If you’ve read any of my blog posts you know that I am an advocate for volunteerism and service. I also have a special place in my heart for our military. I am eternally grateful to those who protect our security and freedom. I am dedicating today’s post to highlight ways that we can support and honor United States military service members and veterans.
Veterans Day 2011 is almost here. That’s right 11-11-11 is four days away. There are countless opportunities to show your gratitude for our active military soldiers and veterans. Below you will find a few examples to get you started.