Organization focuses on opportunities for young children

This monthly feature focuses on volunteer opportunities for Central Ohio families.

Finding volunteer opportunities in which young children can participate can be a challenge. Brandy Jemczura learned that firsthand when she tried to continue giving back to the community after her three children were born. So she founded Seeds of Caring in 2016 to help other families who were in the same boat.

Today, the organization offers about eight programs per month designed for children ages 2-12 and their parents. Events are posted on the first and 15th and fill quickly, said Sarah Pirtle, Seeds of Caring's co-executive director.

“There is always an educational component to our events,” Pirtle said. For example, a project to pack sack lunches for the Open Shelter might include a conversation about homelessness. “We as parents don't always know how to frame these topics for our kids,” she said.

Seeds of Caring, which has applied for IRS 501(c)3 nonprofit status, works with more than a dozen organizations, including Buckeye Ranch, Meals on Wheels and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.

In 2017, more than 1,350 children and their parents logged more than 3,000 service hours. “By engaging young kids in volunteering,” Pirtle said, “we are laying the foundation for the rest of their lives to be informed and passionate and compassionate citizens.”

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