June 7, 2019

Five ways to make an impact this summer

Summer is here. Sun-filled days at the beach, burgers sizzling on the grill and baseball games are all on the horizon.

Longer days and warm weather also make summer a great time to help others. With Seasons of Caring, we make it easy to give back this and every season.

During the summer months, we connect individuals, groups and organizations to meaningful volunteer opportunities that focus on providing students with a better back-to-school.

There’s a wide variety of ways to contribute – from assisting with fun, educational programs to ensuring children have access to nutritious food. When you volunteer this summer, you can help prevent summer slide and prepare kids for success in the classroom, college and their career.

Here are five ways you can give back this summer and help students start the school year off strong:

1. Help our partner organizations reset for summer

The Guidance Center has been a staple of local communities across the region for more than six decades, offering family literacy events, free books, workshops and more. Visit The Guidance Center’s Walter White Community Resource Center in River Rouge to help organize classrooms and reset the center for program changes that are planned for summer.

2. Prepare students for success in the classroom

Do you love to read? Are you great at math? The St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center is in need of summer tutors to help elementary school students sharpen their reading, math and life skills. As a bonus, you’ll also get to participate in some fun summer field trips!

3. Support and explore new cultures

Summer is the perfect time to introduce your kids to new ideas and activities. Youth for Understanding is one of the world’s largest international student exchange programs, established in more than 60 countries worldwide. The organization offers a wide range of family-friendly ways to volunteer such as mentoring, interviewing prospective students and host families, or participating in events.

4. Get an early start

From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life. Education during these critical years sets the foundation for success at school, work and life. Focus: HOPE’s free early learning programs educate more than 200 children per year, offering a safe place to learn, explore and build relationships. Join United Way Aug. 15 at Focus: HOPE’s Early Learning Center as we assist with daily care activities such as mealtime, reading groups, cleaning and more.

5. Provide food for thought

Even adults know it’s nearly impossible to give anything your full attention with an empty stomach. For kids who rely on free and reduced-price school lunches, the risk of going hungry is even greater in the summertime. Meet Up and Eat Up helps kids access free, healthy meals all summer long. In July, we also invite you to join United Way for our monthly community project at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. Volunteers will assist the kitchen staff with preparing and serving lunch to those staying at the Third Street Rescue Mission.

To learn more about Seasons of Caring and upcoming volunteer opportunities, visit our volunteer portal.