Investing time in our community through volunteer hours

Giana performed her first volunteer hours completing a project during Thanksgiving break.  I thought it was important to remind her of the reason for the season.  We sorted and bagged up coats and boots for C.A.R.D.S. Closet.


The organization provides free clothing to children in need in Sun Prairie, WI.  They also sponsors students in various ways including paying for sports uniforms and graduation caps and gowns.

Quotes on giving


This activity provided an opener for us to discuss poverty vs. privilege.    We also talked about means and basic needs.  Denise met us so we could drop off the items.  She showed us the expanded space added,  because of the money raised from the Harvest In The Gardens Event.  Another great charity conceptualized by a young boy in our community who wants to make a difference.


The new area at C.A.R.D.S. closet will allow more clothing to be displayed.

The Cause


Volunteer Hours

In addition to being able to take in more donations, the extra space enables efficiency.  Eliminating time that is spent digging and sorting through bins.  Therefore, the student board of directors can pack quickly for families in need.


Just like that, I had a Laufty idea! I love organization.  Adding size tags to the shelves could further assist in efficiency.  Also, Giana had several more days off of school for Thanksgiving.

I volunteered our help!


Reality Check Please!


It was time for a shift in thinking.  I’m sure all kids ask for stuff, but it had become a constant in our household.  It was happening in rapid successions.  For example, wanting a donut on the way home from dance class.  Or getting a toy from the store and asking for gum at the register.

C.A.R.D.S. Closet


Or crying for the master suite on vacation to Christmas Mountain, that post is coming!  Apparently, we needed a reality check.




I no longer had the laminator from my previous company.  However, it was one of Giana’s favorite pieces of equipment in my old office.  So, I knew this would be cool for her.  We bought the supplies needed:

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  1. Laminator
  2. Laminator Sheets
  3. Command Strips


We used a paper cutter from my scrapbook supplies.   The printer was stocked with ink.  I had resume paper that we could use.




For the labels, I played with the formatting in Excel.  I adjusted the row height and column width and checked the print preview.  Looking for the page to display large even squares.

Once I created the grid in excel, I researched sizes.  I looked online at toddler, girls, and boys size charts.  I added all possible sizes to the spreadsheet.  Duplicating the most common measurements.


Print, Laminate, and Cut


We printed two copies of all pages with grids.  Giana laminated all the pages herself.  She carefully lined them within the lamination pouch.   Then she guided the lamination paper through the feeder.

Teach Giving


I helped her cut the border trim off the grid.  She used the paper cutter to cut each size label.  First, she cut the columns; then she cut the rows.



Pride and Joy


Giana asked to take breaks while working the labels, but she never complained.  I could see the delight she found in completing the task.  Gigi jumped right back in after a snack or intermission to finish the work. She seemed to grasp the impact of kindness more this year than when we just dropped off a donation.


joy in giving

For those of us fortunate to have what we need this season, find a way to give back to those less fortunate.  If you cannot afford to donate monetarily, consider your time.  Double down and add a teachable moment for our child.


Giving Opportunities

Denise has a list of projects which can be performed in the comfort of your home.  In fact, she states “the majority of our volunteers are not working on site”.   The privacy of the families in need is of utmost importance.
Contributing your time doesn’t have to be a daunting.  For example, it can be done in small increments.  Plus, it can provide you with an invaluable chance to teach your child to give before they receive.   For more information on how you can help click here.
For more ideas on how to spend quality time parenting read about my one on one dates with each of my daughters Giana and Misha.