How h!p started

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What if a preschooler could fill a goody bag with candy for a child who is homeless?  What if your family could support another family by baking an extra meal? What if an Elementary student could brighten a lonely senior’s day by writing them a letter? And what if that senior wrote back?   Each of us understands compassion. What if our children could not only understand but do something about it?

If children volunteer at a young age, they are twice as likely to volunteer as adults.  Youth volunteering just 1 hour a week reduces at risk behavior by 49%! As a mother, I wanted to teach my children about the value and power of giving back to your community but there were no volunteer opportunities for children under the age of 12.   So I founded Humanity In Practice or as we say HIP.

For over a decade, HIP has been working with Calgary not for profits, creating meaningful ways to be engaged.  Our opportunities are simple projects like baking cookies, donating mittens or drawing a greeting card, projects that could be done in the safety of a child’s home or classroom or Guide group.  Our volunteers’ do these projects and we collect them and deliver them to the agencies to give to the people they serve.  These projects are suited for any age and can be done from anywhere at any time.  We promote how to ‘be hip’ through purposeful acts of kindness.  And that is the simple difference of how we help.

We keep it simple and those we serve tell us it works.  Teachers say their students are learning empathy. Seniors say they are contributing. Families say this fits into their busy schedules.   One of our volunteers, an incarcerated youth, said he had no idea that he could still make a difference from jail!

HIP has created 96 projects, delivering over 40,000 items of need to 67 Calgary agencies.  Items like mittens, greeting cards, backpacks, home baked treats, crafts and pet toys.  And although we started as a way for young children to give back, we have since grown to ensure that anyone can give back.  Our volunteers include families, Individuals, kids in care, groups, isolated seniors and youth requiring community service hours. Of our 2,000 volunteers, 1,300 of them are children under the age of 12.

The ‘why’ of HIP is because we need more ways for to simply give back.

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