The Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach Makes Kids Full Members of the Volunteer Team!
To demonstrate the power of voluntarism at an early age, The Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach (JLNVB) created a Thanksgiving program called Little Hands, Big Difference to involve members’ children in a project they could get their hands around.

Community partners

  • Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia

How it works
JLNVB focused its volunteer hours on supporting the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia’s Mayflower Marathon food drive at a local mall. In doing so, JLNVB brought together members and their children and friends. JLNVB also opened the event to the public and publicized it through Facebook and its community partners, which brought in non-members and their children as well.

The Little Hands, Big Difference event format was designed to involve children (most of them between two and 12 years of age) at two levels: fun and work. The fun part of the event had healthy snacks and Thanksgiving-themed games and crafts along with a chance to see the mall’s parade for the arrival of Santa. The work part involved sorting food into bins for delivery to the nearby food drive. JLNVB also purchased supplies of the 10 food items that the foodbank indicated were their most-needed “kid foods” and participants brought other food donations. After they sorted the food, the children loaded the food bins onto carts and walked it over to the Mayflower Marathon.

What’s the impact?
In addition to creating a volunteer event that involved children as well as adults, the event contributed to the overall success of the Mayflower Marathon, which collected enough donations to provide 429,000 Thanksgiving meals to the needy in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area.