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Does your family volunteer? Do you want your kids to develop an attitude of gratitude?

Volunteers can practice social skills, make new friends, and studies have shown that volunteers are more likely to be happy. There are many opportunities in Napa Valley to give back to the community, and there is no better time for young folks to start than during their summer break from school.

In addition to the value of their work to others and themselves, they might just develop a new interest that becomes a calling. Here are some timely needs that might spark a fire for community involvement in your children.

Love animals? On Sunday, Aug. 2, Napa Humane will hold its annual Walk for Animals beginning at Veterans Memorial Park in Napa. Volunteers age 13 and older are needed from 6 a.m. to set up furniture and signs, distribute water, organize T-shirts and other prizes, and lots more. If you like to have fun, are enthusiastic and reliable, can do lots of walking and maybe some lifting, Wendi Piscia would love to hear from you at wpiscia@napahumane.org, 255-8118 ext. 202. See the Napa Humane website for other volunteer opportunities.

Like to work in the garden? On Monday, Aug. 3, join Napa Valley CanDo volunteers helping in the Food Bank garden at Trower and Jefferson streets. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sturdy shoes. Bring water, gloves and a trowel if you have them. Weed the garden, help pick vegetables. With parents, kids can join in delivering the produce to the Food Bank. To sign up or for more information, contact Karen Garcia, CanDoCanGrow@gmail.com.

Operation: With Love From Home sends care packages to service members overseas. Perhaps your youngsters would like to collect donations from friends and neighbors. Here are some of the items needed in small packs: gum, hard candy, beef jerky, nuts, peanut butter, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, playing cards, pens, paper and envelopes, AA and AAA batteries, Ziploc bags. For a more complete list see the website, operationwithlovefromhome.org. To deliver your donations, contact Liz Alessio at elizabeth@stjoe.org.

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Is there a garage sale in your future? Kids can help their families by going through their toys, books, and clothes for items to be recycled. Pay for a family party or a movie treat with part of the proceeds.

Whatever you do with your time, enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacation.

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Lenore Hirsch is a retired school principal living in Napa. Send questions to lenorehirsch@att.net. Please include your child’s age or grade.

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