What's the big deal about a nail clipper? Most of us have one (or several) in our bathroom drawers or cosmetic kits. They're pretty inexpensive to purchase, so why all the fuss? For the unhoused teens who receive support services and on-the-street outreach with StandUp for Kids Tucson, a nail clipper is a lifeline.
Imagine only partially sleeping at night because it isn't really safe to go to sleep in the dark. Maybe you have a bug in your hair and your feet are sore because you slept in your shoes. You wonder if you will be able to find a bathroom that someone will let you use or if you will have to go behind a tree again, hoping that someone doesn't see. The day is spent trying to take care of yourself.
The work matters even if you can't see the impact
Sometimes when families volunteer to bundle items, like hygiene kits, they aren't always able to witness the impact of their volunteering. Because of the work our nonprofit collaborators do and the people they serve, it's not always possible to interact with the beneficiaries of our volunteering. The give-back work still matters even when we can't directly see the impact.
You see volunteers from StandUp for Kids visiting the area. They remember your name. They ask if you need anything and you haven't eaten so you say, "food". They offer you a bag of hygiene items. You notice that the hygiene packs are a little different this time. They contain nail clippers that you desperately need.
Kids and Family volunteers pack hygiene kits for StandUp for Kids unhoused teens.
When Families volunteer to bundle kits
There's often so much we don't know about the beneficiaries of our volunteering. Volunteering asks us to remain open, be curious and suspend judgement. As family volunteers, we trust that our give-back work is meaningful and will make a difference in the lives of those on the receiving end.
Inside the hygiene kit is a note saying I am special and for a minute I am not sure what to think. I can't remember the last time someone said that to me, especially someone I don't even know. I wonder if it is true.
Living on the street it is hard to keep track of things. Stuff get stolen from me all of the time. The nail clippers are small and I can keep them in my pocket. Every time I use them, I remember the note. Every time I use them, I remember that there are kids that aren't living in the street who care what happen to me.
Families volunteer together to make hygiene kits and kindness notes to benefit StandUp for Kids.
Like nail clippers, it's often the small things that have the greatest impact. When a family gives an hour of their weekend to volunteer together, the ripple effect of that give-back work is felt long after the project is complete.
To learn more and get involved in our family volunteer projects, sign up for an in-person or at-home project today, or help us fund our family volunteer programs. ♥ craftingkindkids.org/donate