30 Every 30: Teaching Kids to Give Their Time


Last month our family of three drove to a hotel across town. We checked in, grabbed some crayons and stickers, and spent some time making cards for children who are terminally ill. Our four-year-old daughter Lily screwed up her mouth in concentration, shared stickers with her friend, and smiled, knowing she was doing something good. When her work was done she was given a certificate with her name printed on it- a big deal for a little girl.

It was the premier event for 30-every-30. And it was a huge success.

As a Mom, there were so many things about the event and organization that impressed me. The activities were organized, the materials were plentiful, and the kids came first. A staff member came around and spoke with Lily personally. Then she made a record of Lily’s work, including personal notes about what she had done well. The staff member explained that there would be a file for every kid in attendance, with a spread sheet of all her hours throughout her schooling. By the time college applications come around, she’ll have thirteen years of service in an easy-to-read form. And activities have enough variety that there’s something age-appropriate for all.

But the most impressive part of 30-every-30 is the principle: teaching kids to give their time to others in meaningful, consistent ways. And one of the most beautiful parts of it all is that it came from the mind of a child.

I was so excited by 30-every-30 that I reached out to founder Mick Lee, (whose son told her he wanted to help people after hearing a sermon at their church) to learn more.

“I am the single mom of Jax (age 10) and spent the last two years searching for volunteer opportunities in our community. While there are many fantastic nonprofits in the area, I was unable to find many that allowed kids to donate their time or events that could fit into a busy lifestyle. I created 30e30 as a result. The idea is simple: we all have 30Minutes of time to donate Every30Days.

Each month ( or so) we partner with different nonprofits in the area in order to create an event that is developed with kids volunteering in mind and has a focus on family involvement.” -Lee

This month’s event takes place this Saturday, November 23, 2013 at Nathaniel Witherell Nursing Center ~ 70 Parsonage Road, Greenwich CT (203) 618-4200. Volunteers will play Bingo and and make Placemat and Loom Bracelet Creations with the residents. Participants can choose any 30 minutes between 2:00 PM and 3:30 PM.

What a perfect way to celebrate a week devoted to giving thanks. We’ll be there- will you? You can register and learn more at

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. 30E30
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 23:01:55

    Thank you Mindy – your support means so much to me, with gratitude, Mick


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