Friday, March 24, 2017

Families For Good Challenge

This past year, we've seen of lot of mess, a lot of ugliness, a whole lot of brokenness in our world. Whether it's the amount of children being orphaned in our own state because of the opioid crisis, the nonstop political battles that are raging, race relations and tensions or the sadness of cancer and car accidents that claim so many lives. It's easy to get discouraged by the bad. But there is GOOD. There are organ donors that step forward and save lives, there are Free Stores, there are caregivers for the elderly, handicapped and foster children, there are people that are doing everyday, mundane GOOD in their communities. It's up to us to step away from the ugly sparring that too often happens on social media and ask what we can do to be part of the GOOD.

 One of the best things we can teach our children is to be part of the GOOD. This can be done by intentionally finding ways that our families can participate in ways to give back in our communities. I was thrilled to be contacted by United Way to partner with them in their first #FamiliesForGoodChallenge. This initiative was launched last Saturday (March 18) at United Way’s annual Be My Neighbor Day event. United Way’s first-ever #FamiliesForGoodChallenge seeks to inspire families to volunteer together and challenge their friends and loved ones to do the same on social media to make a big impact throughout the community.

The goal of the #FamiliesForGoodChallenge is to have the local community log 5,000 collective hours of family volunteerism from now – May 20, 2017. United Way, along with its agency partners, offer a variety of family volunteer activities, including at-home opportunities, for the community to participate in whatever way is most impactful and convenient to them.

“It is United Way’s goal to create meaningful, fun family volunteer opportunities where our community can work together with their families to make a real difference,” said Lois Mufuka Martin, chief volunteer engagement officer. “The challenge is a great opportunity for parents to teach their children the value and importance of giving back. We hope to see people of all ages participating in family volunteer activities through the #FamiliesForGoodChallenge.”

Families who want to participate in the challenge should start by visiting, where they can sign up for United Way’s volunteer activities, which include building literacy kits for local children, supporting women in crisis, painting youth centers, cleaning up local parks, building spring cleaning kits for veterans, decorating pots for seniors and more. While these opportunities are available, United Way invites the community to log their hours after participating in any volunteer activity across the city with their family.

Here are some of the opportunities listed on their website:

  • Build literacy kits that help kids ages PreK-3rd grade increase literacy skills so they can succeed in school - March 31 (2 hours)
  • Pick up, paint and plant together at a neighborhood cleanup in Braddock - April 1 (3 hours)
  • Build literacy kits that help kids ages PreK-3rd grade increase literacy skills so they can succeed in school – April 22, 9:30-11am (1.5 hours)
  • Build literacy kits that help kids ages PreK-3rd grade increase literacy skills so they can succeed in school – April 22, 11am-12:30pm (1.5 hours)
  • Paint at Youthplaces to make hallways more welcoming to students - April 29 (4 hours)
  • Tidy up a park in Clairton to create a safer community space for kids to play - May 6 (3 hours)
  • Join United Way's fitUnited initiative at a Turtle Creek playground for our Day of Action - June 10 (4 hours)
(Pick one of the suggested at-home activities or you can tell them what you're doing on your own!)
  • Build spring cleaning kits for veterans as a family - At Home (2 hours)
  • Put together summer enrichment kits for children in need - At Home (2 hours)
  • Brighten a senior's day when you create a "sunshine kit" - At Home (2 hours)
  • Assemble safety kits for seniors - At Home (2 hours)
  • Host a family book drive for local kids in need - At Home (2 hours)
  • Collect flip-flops for women living in shelters and write notes of encouragement - At Home (2 hours)
Additional opportunities for Westmoreland and Fayette counties are also listed.

While at a local volunteer activity, families can join the conversation by sharing their photos and experiences on Facebook and Twitter and tagging United Way of Southwestern PA and #FamiliesForGoodChallenge.

Many of you know that I started the nonprofit, Foster Love Project, to help foster children in Western PA. I am so thankful for all the families that have volunteered together and participated in our holiday bag drive! This has provided a lot of opportunities for my kids to help give back and help in our community.

Whatever mission you choose to take on, I hope you will take the #FamiliesForGoodChallenge! What better way to welcome spring than giving back with your family for GOOD to our community? 

The #FamiliesForGoodChallenge will run through May 20, 2017. 

is post is sponsored so I received compensation or products in exchange for my promotion. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse companies that I don't value.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice to read this.Thank you so much for sharing this post.