Caring at Carey
Nurturing kindness is a key part of the Carey mission. Through an awareness of how we can help our community, we can help instill kindness in our children and help fulfill the school’s mission.
Volunteer activity not only helps the people you reach out to, it builds stronger and happier kids. Children feel empowered when they understand that they can help others. They learn responsibility, tolerance and sometimes even job skills. By volunteering as a family, you demonstrate the value of kindness to your kids.
Caring at Carey exists to raise awareness about community service, the role it plays in the mission of the Carey School and how we parents can support this part our kids’ Carey experience.
We have organized ourselves to do three things:
- Raise awareness among parents by looking for community service components that fall naturally out of CSPA sponsored events. Typically, this has meant taking leftover food or supplies from an event to a shelter. Last year, we supported two organizations: Project 90 and the Samaritan House, donating over 300 meals to recovering addicts and homeless families…all from food that might otherwise have been thrown away;
- Extend awareness through rallying the entire Carey community around two family-friendly volunteer events per year. Last Fall, we helped collect more than 4.7 tons of trash as part of the Bay cleanup sponsored by the City of San Mateo. Last Spring, we planted vegetables for shelter kitchens in an organic garden run by Almost Eden;
- Make it easier for families to adopt community service as part of their parenting strategy by sharing information about family-oriented volunteer opportunities in the newsletter and on this webpage. The website last year listed over 100 activities that benefited a wide range of causes and allowed families to work together to give back.
In our outreach to local organizations, we try to find and promote opportunities that:
- Involve interaction rather than fundraising;
- Involve interaction from the ENTIRE family, not just the parents or the kids;
- Are entirely sponsored by and organized by the community service organization (we are being very careful NOT to create a series of Carey-sponsored events).
Please check the list below for information on current volunteer opportunities.
The Gratitude Calendar
With the holiday season upon us, Caring at Carey is inviting Carey families to participate in a special family project: The Gratitude Calendar.
Family-friendly Volunteering Opportunities
Share the Holiday Spirit with Shelter Network – Through the following giving and volunteering opportunities, you can help make the holidays special for the families and individuals in Shelter Network’s transitional housing programs.
- Adopt-a-Family/Child/Individual – Every client participating in Shelter Network’s housing services gets three holiday gift wishes. You can make these wishes come true by “adopting” a family or individual. Pledge to purchase a single gift, or shop for a whole family! Recommended $30/gift.
- Create a Thanksgiving/Holiday Dinner Basket – There’s nothing like a delicious feast to bring a family together for the holidays. With your help, every family in Shelter Network’s transitional housing will be able to cook a holiday meal together. Create a dinner basket with fun and nutritious foods (we’ll help you with a list of suggested items). Dinner baskets cost approximately $30 for one family.
- Host a Gift Drive – In lieu of traditional presents, ask your friends and family to bring a gift for a homeless child or adult in need. Host a holiday party at work or home and collect donations of gift certificates, new clothes and toys, household supplies, and other needed items.
- Attend a Gift Wrapping Party – Volunteer your time to wrap donated gifts for our families. Gift wrapping parties are held in mid-December at all our facilities on the San Francisco Peninsula. Individuals and group volunteers are welcome. Sign up now, these parties fill up fast!
- Plan a Holiday Party at a Shelter Facility – Host a party at one of Shelter Network’s residences with other members of the Carey community. A festive celebration makes the holidays bright and memorable for our homeless clients. Space is limited, sign up today.
Ongoing – Until There’s a Cure. Volunteer to help prepare The Bracelet for Until There’s A Cure. Support HIV/AIDS awareness and vaccine development by assisting the Foundation in packaging and shipping products to customers and retailers. Located in Woodside, CA, in a beautiful office, you can make a real difference in HIV/AIDS prevention while having fun with a unique opportunity.
SPECIAL FOR 4th and 5th GRADERS! The second Friday of each month – 3:00PM to 6:30PM: Join Fair Oaks Community Center in distributing food to families and assisting with memberships. Fair Oaks serves as a host site for Second Harvest. Please come to the project wearing closed-toed shoes. (Redwood City)
The second Saturday of each month – 8:00AM to 11:00AM: Help beautify the San Francisco Zoo by working in our gardens! Work gloves, tools and refreshments provided. Participants receive a coupon for a free steam train ride and other special benefits. Pre-registration required. Early birds also wanted to help register volunteers! Questions: (415) 522-9702 or RenewtheZoo[at]sfzoo.org.
Every day 10:00am to 7:00pm – Join our Furry Friends Visiting Program! Donating just a few hours of your time with your wonderful pet can make a world of difference in the daily life of our residents. You can either visit in the rooms or take your pet to the lobby and outdoors during the warm weather. Please contact Sarah Kinnier, Director of Volunteers, at skinnier[at]lyttongardens.org or call (650) 617-7355
Every Saturday- 9:00AM to 12:00PM: To help find homes for our rescued cats and kittens, the Homeless Cat Network holds adoption fairs every Saturday of the year. They need people to help set up the fair at the Petsmart in San Mateo and talk with potential adopters.
Every Day-Call to arrange a time: Weed Away Your Morning at The Beach. Half Moon Bay State Beach needs volunteers to restore native habitats at Francis, Venice, Roosevelt and Dunes Beaches. The removal of non-native plants (weeds!!), and the monitoring of newly planted areas will help increase the native wildlife in the park. Shifts can be from 2 to 3 hours.
Friday Afternoons: Visit a group of Jewish residents in a retirement or assisted living facility on a regular monthly basis to celebrate Shabbat and connect the generations. Training provided. Program is on Friday afternoons anytime from 2pm-5pm for 1 hour each month.
Every Day- 9:00AM to 12:00PM and 12:30PM to 3:30pm: Come see what’s in season – from peaches to beans and rice – and get it out the door! Help the San Francisco Food Bank sort, package and distribute these nutritious foods for our community. Minimum age limit is 8 years old during Saturday projects, and 4 years old during Sunday projects. Preregistration is required – no dropins.
Saturdays: Transform a street in Redwood City by digging in and planting a tree. Shovels, gloves and refreshments are provided. You’ll be teamed up with a planting captain and other volunteers. We start at 9:00 and usually finish around noon. It’s a fun way to get some exercise and fresh air while helping the environment and beautifying a neighborhood. We do a demonstration planting and send people out in teams with experienced planters, so no experience is required.
Anytime: Shelter Network, the leading provider of housing and support services for the homeless in San Mateo County, is looking for groups or individuals to garden and/or landscape at our New Beginnings Organic Garden housed at our Menlo Park Family Shelter – Haven Family House. If you like to help make new things grow, stay on top of weeding and love to harvest the fruits and veggies for our families at the shelter this is a great opportunity for you. Please contact: Lynnelle Bilsey Volunteer Manager Phone: 650-685-5880 ext. 125 E-mail: lbilsey[at]shelternetwork.org.