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Family resolutions: volunteer

In this instantaneous, self-centered, me generation, one thing we could be doing more of is helping others. Why not make a family resolution to get out and volunteer in 2010. Whatever your skills or interest, you can find some way to use them in your community.

There are volunteer ski instructors who help blind children hit the slopes, volunteer host families that do foster care for shelter animals or puppies training to be helper dogs, or even volunteer activity leaders at senior centers. Whatever your interest you can make it an opportunity to give back regularly.

Some popular volunteer activities include:

Big Brother or Big Sister: The Big website says that 'Littles' are: 52% less likely to skip school and 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs. You can start the application process right on their website but will have to provide three references and go through a background check before being matched with your 'Little.'

The Girl Scouts: The Madison Area Girl Scouts are looking for male and female volunteers to help mentor youth in fitness activities. This includes winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center: Located on Femrite Drive in Madison, this center is hosting activities throughout the winter and is seeking volunteers.

Ronald McDonald House: is seeking volunteers willing to donate and prepare meals for the families staying at the house while their children receive medical treatment.

For more ideas check out VolunteerMatch.org and give back this year.

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