(BPT) - Summer provides a much-needed break for families and a perfect opportunity to make a difference in the community. Depending on interest and time, there are many different ways to get involved or make a charitable contribution, including the following:
* Participate in a fundraiser or food collection – The holiday season tends to be a time when nonprofit organizations see a majority of their annual funding. But these organizations might have a greater need for assistance during the summer months when donations are not as strong. Food banks especially have a year-round need for canned goods and other nonperishable foods.
* Support the brands and charities you love – Companies often hold campaigns to raise awareness and funds for organizations. For example, Dreyer’s/Edy’s ice cream supports Operation Smile with its “A Reason to Smile” campaign. This summer, fans can visit the Dreyer’s/Edy’s Facebook page and share, like, or comment on posts to help the brand give new smiles to 500 children with cleft lips and cleft palates. In addition, Dreyer’s/Edy’s is re-introducing fan favorite flavor Slow Churned “Take the Cake” all summer long, featuring messaging on the carton about the “A Reason to Smile” campaign. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/dreyersicecream or www.facebook.com/edysicecream.
* Organize a community project – Gather your friends, neighbors and co-workers to create a project that will specifically help your community out. Topics range from cleaning up a neighborhood park, raising money for a local organization, collecting food for the local food bank or constructing a building that will benefit your community.
* Volunteer your time – Sometimes the best way you can give back to your community is by volunteering your time. Set up a visit to a nursing home or hospital in your community. Volunteer to be a greeter at an event for a non-profit organization. Call your local food bank and ask if volunteers are needed to organize food donations. You may be surprised at how many volunteer opportunities exist in your community.
Summer is the perfect time for families to explore different volunteering opportunities and develop new interests together. Bringing the family together around new experiences is great for bonding and can be a learning opportunity for children. Not only will you create new memories for you and your family, but you can also make positive changes in the community and people around you.