Getting to Volunteer With Our Kids An Incredibly Rewarding Experience for the Khaki Family
A few weeks ago, Hisham and I led our two oldest kids into the kitchen at Midway United Methodist Church in Alpharetta. It was alive with activity! Aproned staff from the nonprofit Meals by Grace worked side-by-side with 300 volunteers, including kids under 12 and their parents. Together, they carefully assembled sandwiches and sorted and packaged produce, dry goods, and other household items for locals in need. Rami and Hanna fit right in. I was proud to see them working hard and soaking up the staff’s stories about the 71 families this food would help. After taking our turn on the sandwich and sorting lines, Hisham, the kids, and I filled our car with meals and went door to door to deliver them. Joy and understanding filled Rami and Hanna’s faces as they matched people with the stories they’d heard and handed over each dinner. Looking back on that experience, I’m even more thankful for the opportunities Meals by Grace’s “Kids in the Kitchen” program gave my family. Rami and Hanna got to participate in the entire volunteer process, from gathering, sorting, and preparing the goods to loading and delivering them. Finding organizations that allow children to volunteer alongside their parents at that level is harder than you might think. I searched for months to find Kids in the Kitchen! During my hunt, I found plenty of options for kids to do “fun” charity work — like reading to dogs at the local humane society — but few opportunities for them to directly give back to people in need.
There’s something profound about those
human-to-human connections. With
every dish we cooked and delivery we made, Rami and Hannah’s perspectives shifted. When we arrived home, they understood how lucky they were to have food to eat, a car full of gas to take them to school, and a coat to wrap up in every winter.
Growing up, I didn’t need to volunteer to learn that perspective. My family left our home country of Iran as refugees. While Iran isn’t necessarily a poor country, it isn’t a developed country like the United States, either. I understood that I was lucky to have my small luxuries. Meals by Grace doesn’t exist to teach my kids a lesson — it exists to feed hungry children and their families! But I’m grateful that we were able to accomplish both things at the same time. Rami and Hanna gained the priceless gift of perspective, and our deliveries warmed the bellies of our neighbors. It was a true win-win. If you don’t already volunteer with your kids, I highly recommend it. Meals by Grace (MealsbyGrace.org) is one of several great options in our area. You can read about a few more on pg. 4 — just in time for Volunteer Recognition Day on Thursday, April 20. P.S. If you can’t volunteer in person, there are other ways to give back. For example, our family recently donated to Save the Children, which is providing aid to kids in Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of an earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people. You can do the same and teach your kids about the disaster at SavetheChildren.org. –Sara Khaki
There’s nothing wrong with reading to dogs at the humane society. In fact, it’s a fantastic way for children to connect with animals and discover that not all dogs have homes. But reading to dogs isn’t the same as delivering a home-cooked meal to a neighbor or handing over shoes to a child who has lived their whole life barefoot.
Or Our Complimentary Support Group! JOIN OUR CHILD CUSTODY WEBINAR
HAPPILY EVER AFTER DIVORCE SUPPORT GROUP MEETING (VIRTUAL SUPPORT GROUP) When: Saturday, April 22, at 10 a.m. Register: AtlantaDivorceLawGroup.com/ happily-ever-after-divorce-support-group Feelings of anger, bitterness, sadness, and grief are perfectly normal after divorce, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with those feelings. To turn those woes into joy and hope for the future, consider joining our Happily Ever After Divorce Support Group.
Our complimentary divorce support groups and seminars are available online. Register for these upcoming events to gain knowledge, resources, and emotional support to help you feel empowered while you go through major life changes. CHILD CUSTODY BOOTCAMP (COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR) When: Tuesday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m. Register: AtlantaDivorceLawGroup.com/our-seminars If you’re divorced, divorcing, or know someone with kids who is going through the process, you should know about our Child Custody Bootcamp! This free webinar is available to all parents who hope to gain custody of their kids, including your friends and family. During the course, our team will explain the basics of child custody, including how it’s decided in court, how parental conflict can hurt your kids (plus how to prevent it), and the pros and cons of different custody schedules. We’ll also go over the do’s and don’ts every parent should follow to ensure they have the best odds of success during a custody battle. Visit the website on this page to register for the webinar, or share this article with your friends or family who might need it. The more parents and families we can help, the happier we’ll be! NIPPING SPRING ALLERGIES IN THE BUD When Pollen Strikes
This group meets virtually once a month, and it’s a safe haven for people in all stages of the divorce process. Whether you’ve just split or are stuck in a years- long custody battle, spending time with your peers and Collaborative Divorce Coach Kathleen Shack will help! Visit the link on this page to learn more, register, and find the closure you deserve.
Here at ADLG, we’re not letting COVID-19 slow us down. Sign up for these virtual events to get the necessary information and support without leaving home.
Spring has arrived! However, rebirth and renewal aren’t the only things in the air. During spring, trees, weeds, plants, and grasses release small grains of pollen into the air to fertilize other plants. Because the pollen is small and light, it travels through the wind and frequently causes allergic reactions. Symptoms of seasonal allergies include congestion, sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, an itchy throat, watering eyes, and irritation in the roof of your mouth. If you’re prone to experiencing allergies all spring long, here are some useful tips to keep them at bay. REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE. During spring months, keep the windows in your home and car closed. On particularly windy or dry days, avoid spending time outdoors, and do not hang your clean laundry outside to dry. After you have been outdoors, remove your clothing and wash your hair and skin to remove any traces of pollen. Do not cut the grass, pull weeds, or do any gardening. REMOVE POLLEN FROM INDOOR AIR. It’s inevitable that pollen will get inside your home and vehicle. To combat this, utilize your air conditioning or invest in a certified allergy air filter! A dehumidifier and/or an air purifier will help to lower the pollen spore count in the air. RINSE OUT YOUR SINUSES. When pollen overwhelms your sinus passages, one of the best things to do is to rinse out your airways. A sinus flush with a saline solution is one of the easiest and most effective ways to eliminate the pollen that irritates your respiratory system. TAKE OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS. After checking with your doctor or health care provider, choose an over- the-counter medication that is right for your symptoms. Medications like oral antihistamines, oral decongestants, and corticosteroid nasal sprays are all beneficial in reducing the effects of seasonal allergies.
Listen to the newest episodes from ADLG’s Sara Khaki and Shawna Woods!
Top 3 Vacation Destinations for a Longer Stay ALL ABOARD THE EXTENDED VACATION TREND The pandemic slowed us down. Over the past few years, we collectively took fewer vacations, boarded fewer cruise ships, and avoided airports. However, many studies and reports show that now, more than ever, Americans are taking longer vacations! Why might this be, and what are some of the greatest destinations for an extended stay? According to Amex Travel’s 2022 Global Travel Trend Report, 55% of vacationers are interested in taking longer trips because they can work remotely. The trend of swapping homes is also on the rise. HomeExchange’s website reports that home exchanges of two weeks or more increased by 13% in January-May last year. According to Travel Pulse, 26% of people opt to take a trip that exceeds 10 days. If you are interested in taking a more extended vacation, whether it’s because your job went remote, you lost out on travel time in 2020- 2022, or you saved on gas money while working from home, here are some great destinations that support a longer stay. VISIT THE NATIONAL PARKS. There is no better way to connect with nature than to tour the national parks. Several epic national park road trips could allow you to pack in a dozen or more of these natural gems in just a couple of weeks! Many national parks also accommodate RVs for comfort and convenience. DRIVE THE CALIFORNIA COAST. A trip up and down the California coast never disappoints. With so many great places to stop and breathtaking views to absorb, you’ll need at least two weeks to experience them properly. You’ll want to explore the Redwood National Forest, the Lost Coast, Pebble Beach, Monterey Bay, Half Moon Bay, Big Sur, Venice Beach, and many more! HOP ABOARD A CRUISE. A cruise is one of the best ways to see many destinations in one trip. You could visit several countries in just two weeks, stopping in different ports to explore! On a cruise, you could see the Caribbean one day and wake up somewhere completely different the next day with a new adventure ahead!
Happily Ever After Divorce Podcast
Concierge Partner’s Corner Certified Financial Planner Jennifer Heal
Managing your money alone can be intimidating, especially if you’re used to working with a partner to make decisions about your retirement, investments, inheritance, and more. Fortunately, a divorce or other change in circumstances doesn’t mean you need to face these financial hurdles by yourself. You can ask an expert for help — like certified financial planner Jennifer Heal!
Jennifer has been a financial advisor with Edward Jones since 2006 and a certified financial planner since 2014. She’s a third-generation advisor specializing in helping families and executives achieve their financial goals in times of transition. If you work with her, she says she will do her best to: “communicate proactively, identify and help mitigate risks to your strategy, coordinate and monitor your various investments, navigate market cycles to help you stay on track, [and] review and update your strategy as your situation changes.”
What more do you need? Cal 770-998-1572 to reach Jennifer today.
“Very professional and friendly staff. I usually got my questions on my prenuptial agreement answered that same day by email or phone. My lawyer assured me that I was making a (very) smart move. Being newly married and happy, I don’t have a need for a divorce; I’m just protecting the assets that I do have.” –Anne R. W. “Great team! ADLG was extremely professional, responsive, and thoughtful. They cared and took care of me every step of the way. I would highly recommend their firm and John Sumner.” –Elaine S. WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING!
SHARE THE FACTS WITH YOUR WHOLE FAMILY! 5 Documentaries to Watch on Earth Day
‘Kiss the Ground’ — Join actor Woody Harrelson on Netflix for an inspiring look at soil, why it matters, and what farmers and activists are doing to save and enhance it — and our food supply. The documentary is family-friendly and rated G. None of these documentaries existed in 1970 when anti-pollution activists came together to create Earth Day, build the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and pass laws to protect our air and water. But they’re a wonderful extension of that spirit! Hopefully, you’ll be able to find time to watch at least one of them this month. After watching, consider taking action and volunteering for a green project near you.
Earth Day is coming up on Saturday, April 22. But do your kids know why we commemorate the holiday? Do you? If you don’t know much about the history of environmentalism — or just want to learn more about the state of our planet — consider celebrating Earth Day by watching a documentary as a family. Dozens of fantastic films cover everything from the crusade to preserve our coral reefs to how farmers use soil health to enhance the planet. Here are a few of our favorites. ‘Kids Take Action Against Ocean Plastic’ — This short five-minute documentary from National Geographic follows a group of Hawaiian students determined to clean up their local beaches. It’s available for free on National Geographic’s YouTube channel! (If you watch it and love this documentary, check out the PG- rated flick “Plastic Island” on Netflix, which tackles the same issue in Indonesia.) ‘Brave Blue World: Racing to Solve Our Water Crisis’ — This PG-rated documentary about water security takes place on five continents and stars celebrities Liam Neeson, Matt Damon, and Jaden Smith. Check it out on Netflix. ‘Extinction: The Facts’ — This hard-hitting documentary from famous nature historian David Attenborough is perfect for kids ages 16 and up. It tackles serious topics like species loss, food and water shortages, and the relationship between climate change and pandemic diseases. “Extinction: The Facts” is available on PBS.org or Prime Video.
TEACH YOUR KIDS TO GIVE BACK! 4 LOCAL SPOTS TO VOLUNTEER TOGETHER
North Fulton Community Charities (NFCCHelp.org) — This wide-reaching charity offers food, clothes, emergency funds, and life skills training to families in North Fulton through its food pantry, thrift shop, and other programs. Kids 13 and up can volunteer on-site, while younger kids can pitch in through home projects. Help your kids pack toiletry bags, put together diaper and wipe bundles, or do “Chores for Charity” like cleaning out a closet and donating extra clothes to the NFCC thrift shop. Helping Mamas (HelpingMamas.org) — Helping Mamas provides period products, diapers, and other baby items to moms and kids in need. Their work has saved thousands of children from diaper rash and helped hundreds of teen girls stay in school. The nonprofit assists more than 60,000 kids annually. Your family can contribute by dropping off donations or “inventorying donations, sorting clothing and baby supplies, and wrapping diapers” in the warehouse, which welcomes kids age 5 and up. Meals by Grace (MealsbyGrace.org) – ADLG founder Sara Khaki’s family recently volunteered at this nonprofit that feeds the hungry. Check out Page 1 to read about their experience!
A big part of being a parent is teaching our kids the morals, values, and ethics they should live by. This can be intimidating, but one easy way to do it is by volunteering side-by-side with your children! Working together for a good cause lets you show your kids how lucky they are, and how important it is to help their friends and neighbors. That said, finding volunteer opportunities for kids can be tricky. Where can they go to learn important life lessons and do meaningful work at the same time? To help you get started, we compiled a short list of Atlanta charities that will welcome help from your whole family. Nicholas House (NicholasHouse.org) — This nonprofit is part homeless center and part education hub. Its programs help families find housing and teach them self-sufficiency. There are multiple ways for adults to volunteer at Nicholas House, but they welcome kids too! Band together with other parents and host a “playdate” where your kids can tackle a project for the nonprofit and learn more about its mission.
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