Raising kids during a pandemic has been challenging for several reasons. One way to keep children and families focused on the positive is by helping others, from small acts of kindness to larger efforts that impact those in need.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, April 29, a range of committed and compassionate advocates will join the Webinar panel, “Community Outreach: Engaging Your Family To Help Others.” The panel is sponsored by the Home and School Association of Good Shepherd Catholic Regional School (GSC), which nurtures students’ commitment to God, Scholarship, Community, and Service. Panelists include a volunteer coordinator for a local nonprofit that engages children in supporting individuals suffering from addiction; a human capital consultant and mother to a child who has led her own efforts to feed homeless people; and a clinician for individuals in early recovery from addiction, who is also raising daughters dedicated to causes like type one diabetes and wildlife preservation.
The panel will be moderated by Josephine Gandolfo, who is a member of the Good Shepherd H&S Board and Director of Pallottine Ministry at Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in South Jersey.
Queen of Peace Parish Secretary Patti M. Duff serves as Volunteer Coordinator for Angels in Motion (AIM), where she participates in street outreach and organizes events to prepare for that outreach. Founded by a mother looking for her son in Kensington, Angels in Motion began from her witnessing of many individuals suffering from the disease of addiction. The local nonprofit continues to provide numerous “blessing bags” which contain food, clothing, hygiene products, and recovery resource information. In her role, Patti has organized collections for Angels in Motion, including rallying kids to make hundreds of sandwiches and loving pieces of art. “We meet people battling substance use where they are literally and figuratively,” she says. “The Blessing Bags helps us make a connection and our continual presence helps them understand that there are people who care. By donating to AIM you can provide individuals, who are less than 10 miles from our homes, food to put in their empty stomachs, a pair of mittens for their frozen hands, hope that they can change their circumstances, and the knowledge that someone does care for them.”
Nikki Gillum-Clemons, SHRM-CP, currently works for Exude, Inc., and has recently been involved in cultivating COVID-19-safe workspaces. Previously, she worked in human resources for Marriott Hotels, where she organized large-scale events dedicated to various charities. Her daughter Reina is a student at GSC, where she has been involved in several service projects. In second grade Reina began feeding homeless people she observed in Philadelphia and still is finding creative ways to support others in need.
According to GSC parent and therapist Andrea Gahagan, “Helping others allows us an opportunity to give what we are fortunate to have, to learn from other experiences, and to get to know people we many not have a chance otherwise to interact with due to societal boundaries.” A mother of three daughters, Andrea is also a new therapy practice owner of Sage Therapy Group that promotes peace and safety for clients to become their best possible selves. “Giving the gift of community outreach to children helps them build compassion and resilience to adversities they see others facing and may face in their own lifetime as well.”
To join the free and public webinar, click on the graphic at the top of this story, or log in to https://zoom.us/j/96695682113.