Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2019

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14 Hudson Valley Parent n April 2019 with her kids at The Lunch Box. "At The Lunch Box, students, teachers and parents all work together to prepare and serve meals for those less fortunate." Christmas Wishes 845-853-0496 Does your teen love to spread cheer? Christmas Wishes Ulster County Inc. is an impressive nonprofit that helps Hudson Valley families in need with various events- not just Christmas! "It's an amazing association that helps local families all year round with gifts, food, birthdays and other contributions," says Jennifer Boughton, a Hudson Valley mom who has participated with the organization in the past. The Angel Bakers Team Young bakers will jump at the opportunity to volunteer for a great cause while doing what they love! The Angel Bakers Team is a highly dedicated group of volunteers who send homemade goodies to deployed military heroes. "The commitment includes one to two hours of baking, wrapping and card making," explains Tina Bossio, a Warwick mom who actively bakes for the organization with her family. "Participation can be one time, or as often as desired. Sending a soldier in By MICHELLE PETERSON V olunteering can be a great opportunity for your teen to get involved with their community, build self-esteem and discover new interests. As summer approaches, opportunities to participate will be in full swing. Here are some of the ways teens are volunteering near you! Hudson Valley humane societies Various locations in the Hudson Valley For kids who love animals, reach out to local humane societies as a great first opportunity to get some volunteer work under their belt. "My son and I trained to be volunteers at the Humane Society of Walden about four years ago," says Lara Held, a Wallkill mom and art teacher at Washingtonville High School. "Typically, we go there and walk dogs, pet and hang out in the cat room, clean the cat room area and play with puppies to help socialize them. We even went to their Sunday dog walk, where a group of volunteers takes a group of dogs for a hike at a nearby park." The Lunch Box 29 North Hamilton St., Poughkeepsie 845-454-3792 Helping individuals and families in need can be truly rewarding for your teen. The Lunch Box in Poughkeepsie is a community meal program that provides hot lunch and dinner five days a week to local residents who suffer from food insecurity at home. "I think, especially in the world we live in today, it is so important for children to learn the value of service to their community," says Goretti Vianney- Benca, a Hyde Park mom who volunteers need a little piece of home is a small, but not unnoticed token of our sincere thanks for the sacrifices they make for our country and freedom." Deliver food to seniors Dutchess County Office for the Aging 845-486-2555 Teens who enjoy the company of older adults might want to look into the volunteer opportunities available through the Dutchess County Office for the Aging. One of the biggest needs is food delivery drivers! "We delivered to about six homebound seniors every week," says Cornwall mom Jackie Russo, recalling her volunteer experience with her son. "There is always a need for volunteers and kids can accompany you." Hudson River Maritime Museum 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston 845-338-0071 There are opportunities for teens of many different abilities and interests at the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Teens can help with hands-on projects, digital work and give tours of the historic grounds. The museum looks for students with a passion for history to assist them with the day-to-day productions. Give back to your community Volunteering is one of the best opportunities for personal growth your teen can ever achieve. "Our kids are growing up in a society that affords many of them so much," says Vianney- Benca. "I want to instill in them the desire to serve others in gratitude for what they are given in their lives." Michelle Peterson is a freelance writer who lives in Poughkeepsie. Get your teen involved in their community 6 volunteer opportunities for your philanthropic teen Bella T. and Madison M. of Beekman work together to help others at The Lunch Box.

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