Schools aren't even out yet for the summer, but my big summer volunteer project is already in full swing. I grew up in a town with an active Junior League and have now found myself living in a place which, while wonderful, is located over an hour away from the nearest JL chapter. You have no idea how much I wish we had Junior League. However, through my church and through Zonta (service league for business/professional women), I've found wonderful groups of women who have banded together to really make a difference.
One of my favorite projects is the summer collection of clothing. We collect and sort(and chat!) all summer and then we get information on ages/sizes of children who otherwise wouldn't have new outfits for school. My favorite part of all this is helping the kids pick out clothes. Most of the families I've worked with have been so nice, and I just love talking to the children. Some of the stories I encounter are very sad, but I also meet lots of smart, resilient children that I am convinced will better the world someday so long as they are given the right tools do it.
The kids won't be in until much later, but I've been setting aside pieces from my closet all year and now I need to get them all folded up and organized. I send business attire to the local women's shelter, but I have plenty of tees, sweaters and items like that to donate. Originally, I hadn't thought of setting aside clothes for the kids, but then someone pointed out to me that at 5 foot 2, many of these "kids" are way bigger than I am. Point taken - and I'm glad to see someone enjoying the things I just don't use enough to warrant keeping.
And here's what I have to organize now....