In honor of Family Volunteer Day, Nov. 22, Points of Light and Disney are recognizing the exceptional work of volunteer families with the Daily Point of Light Award. Meet today’s winning family, the Hall Family of Salt Lake City, UT, and nominate someone in your community.
Garden cleanup in January. Lemonade stand in June. Book drive in August. For the Hall Family of Salt Lake City, Utah, every month brings a new volunteer experience.
Heidi, husband Dave and their two daughters Audrey, age 10, and Scarlett, age 6, seek out a different organization every month where they can contribute their time and talents.
“Our first exposure to family volunteering was back in 2009,” Heidi remembers. “Audrey and I had the opportunity to go with a group and feed the homeless in a local park. It was a remarkable experience and we decided we would give back to our community on a regular basis.”
“The kids get to see firsthand the need that is involved,” Dave explains. “And that brings us closer together as a family.”
That feeling has stayed with them throughout all of their monthly endeavors.
In 2014, The Halls spent time in January volunteering at their local botanical garden.
Once the weather started warming up, Audrey and Scarlett set up a lemonade stand in June and contributed all the proceeds to a local homeless shelter. The girls said they wanted kids at the shelter to have as much fun as they were having that summer.
The Halls turned their attention in August to coordinating a drive to collect school supplies. After two weeks of actively promoting the drive, the Halls brought a group of children together to help stuff 50 backpacks full of books and supplies. During October, the Hall Family made fleece blankets and knit hats for cancer patients at the local children’s hospital and coordinated a hat drive that brought in 50 hats.
“There’s so much need out there, and it’s hard for us to pick one in particular,” Heidi says. “With younger children it’s important to show them the amount of need there is and that everybody needs a little bit of help every now and then.”
The girls have really taken to their monthly assortment of family volunteer projects. “It gives us time to be united and have some fun together,” Audrey says.
Heidi started a monthly club at an area elementary school that brings 30-60 students and parent volunteers together to discuss community needs and do service projects. Heidi also started a blog, http://unlockingtreasures.blogspot.com/, to share the family’s experiences and volunteer resources.
Friends and coworkers are always asking Heidi how her family finds time for all of this good work. “I think people think they have to solve world peace all at once,” she says. “But what we have done as a family is just take baby steps and do what you can.”