This post is part of #GivingTuesday's #WomenWhoGive series, which celebrates women who are making a difference in their communities.
Miriam Grace Clark, Executive Director, Little Hands Can
What inspired you to start giving?
I grew up in a service oriented family and hoped to be able to raise my own kids knowing the value of service. When my kids were only one and four a friend and I were discussing getting our very little ones involved in community service. Of course, with kids that little, it is difficult to do much volunteer work. Parents are busy taking care of their kids, not sleeping and just generally trying to get by! My family was no different. But while talking with my friend we imagined that many families probably do want to get involved in the community but don’t know exactly how to make it work. That’s why we started Little Hands Can—which is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to inspiring and empowering children to better their communities by connecting them with local service opportunities.” We have several programs that we offer for kids, but my favorite program is our “Community Events program” for kids and their families. Twice a month kids and their caregivers meet at various charities and spend an hour or two volunteering. The organizations that we volunteer with typically love having the extra attention during the work party, the kids love to feel a part of something bigger than themselves, and the parents have a chance to give back to the community even while raising small kids.
What does giving mean to you? Why do you continue to give your time, talents, money, or more to your community?
Giving is about love. I love my community. I want to share my love for it and giving my time is the best way I can see to do that. I have a strong desire to teach my kids to give back as well. I love that they are growing to love their community as well as they give back to it.
What would you tell others who are looking to start giving back? Share a piece of advice will help them get started.
There are always a million excuses to not give back, but there’s one important reason to do it—and that’s love.
Please share a favorite moment or story from when you volunteered or donated to an organization.
I love how service has become an integral and natural part of my little girls’ lives. Last summer my littlest one was 3.5 years old. One morning my husband and I were reading the news and learned the Hurricane Maria had just hit. We were discussing how we could help with the devastation caused by the storm and didn’t notice that our little one was listening. A few minutes later she came into our room with 11 cents she’d dumped out of her piggy bank and declared that she wanted to donate it “to the hurricane”. It touched my heart knowing that – though 11 cents wouldn’t do much for the relief efforts – my little one was going to do everything she could to help. It’s cultivating that little attitude and desire to help that kids have that is going to change the world – and that’s what Little Hands Can is about!