With the Holiday Season upon us, many are starting to think about ways to give, not only to family and friends, but to our larger community as well. By starting, or continuing, family traditions of community service, kids get the chance to learn and participate, becoming the next generation to care for the world. There are a lot of inspiring events and causes here in the Bay Area to get your holiday spirit going, so choosing can be fun.

To get you started, I thought I'd mention Piedmont's very own Havens Community Service Crew, and some of the organizations that they work with. The Havens Community Service Crew is a great way to get your elementary school kids involved in community service, with monthly weekday and weekend activities. Working with local organizations such as Oakland Children's Hospital, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency(BOSS), Alameda County Food Bank, Golden Gate Audubon Society, and Friends of Sausal Creek, the kids get the chance to directly make a difference in people's lives, and in their environment. Last month's after school activity was a great success, benefiting Habitot, our beloved Bay Area Children's Museum. The kids were really excited to put their carpentry skills to the test, while refurbishing wooden carrots from the toddler room. Upon returning the finished carrots, we were referred to as Habitot Heros, and learned more about their Junior Docent Program, where kids get the opportunity to work in the museum. What a great way to help one of your favorite organizations, and provide your kids with the experience of their first job.(They even earn store credit!) For more information go to www.habitot.org.

For this month's after school activity, Tues. December 3rd, the Havens Crew will be making Holiday cards for the residents of the Piedmont Garden Retirement Center. This to be promptly followed up by our weekend activity, where we will be delivering the cards, singing carols, and merrymaking for all! If you have kids at Havens Elementary School, and are interested in getting them involved, you can email more info at havenscrew@gmail.com

Whether assembling craft kits for kids in Oakland Children's Hospital, gardening and donating clothing to BOSS, or doing a shoreline cleanup with Golden Gate Audubon Society, kids and adults alike thrive on doing good in the world. Now is a great time to look online, or in the paper, to see what local organizations are offering this holiday season for community involvement. There are endless ways to give back, and serve the greater good. Have some fun, and make a difference at the same time. Your giving spirit may become contagious, and you may find yourself continuing all year round, like The Crew. Have a great season! Cheers!

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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