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Do something good in Columbus – January 2020

Happy New Year!!! Welcome to the new decade! 2019 was an amazing year—over 7,000 of you in Columbus, Ohio, got on POINT to do more good in our city. If you’re one of those people, thank you. Now looking to 2020, we’re thinking of how we can do even more good.

How can I do good in 2020?

If your New Year’s Resolutions are anything like these:

  1. Find somewhere to volunteer in your city
    (Do you know the average person volunteers one time a year? Make a goal to do something good twice in 2020?)
  2. Meet new people
  3. Take action for causes you’re passionate about (and not just on social media)

…we have a lifehack for you! POINT is the start to get moving on those 2020 resolutions! 

If you’re not a big resolution person, but you still want to start the year off by doing more good, we have SO many opportunities for you. Just read on, my friend. 

The best ways to volunteer in Columbus in January

Help kids, refugees & immigrants, people in recovery, & more.

South Side Early Learning
Every Friday in January

South Side Early Learning strives to ensure that every young child has access to high-quality early education. They understand the importance of a child’s first 2,000 days as the building blocks for a happy, healthy life!

There are so many opportunities to help the tiny tots! You could be a Baby Rocker, a Preschool Greeter, an Office Buddy, a Classroom Assistant or a Full Bellies Full Minds Food Delivery Helper! Check out the app for more information on each role.

Event Link: https://events.pointapp.org/2425

Why we love this: Cuddlin’ babies is the best, and you can be a teacher for tiny humans.

Cause: Education and Family

Neighborhood: Hungarian Village

What to enjoy nearby: For our gluten-free friends, delicious treat shop Bake Me Happy is a short drive away! Schmidt’s Haus is also right nearby and has the beeesst German food.

Get to know the RIC tour
Wednesday, Jan 8

Riverview International Center assists with the basic needs of both new and established immigrants in the Riverview Drive neighborhood. Their office is a place where people can walk in and get help with any questions they may have about navigating life in America.

On this tour, you’ll learn about what RIC does, discover how you can get involved, and learn about the diverse community of refugees and immigrants in our area! 

Event Link: https://events.pointapp.org/2491

Why we love this: Has anyone else studied abroad in an unfamiliar country? It’s not easy, and honestly, it’s kinda scary—and that’s just studying abroad. I can’t imagine being a refugee here. If you ever wanted to learn more about how you can be a better neighbor to our friends from other countries this is a perfect first step! 

Cause: Refugees and Community Development

Neighborhood: Olentangy West

What to enjoy nearby: Chips and guac? Yes? Always? Perfect. Head to El Vaquero.

P.E.E.R. Center Community Meal
P.E.E.R. Center Community Meal
Thursday, Jan 9

The P.E.E.R. Center provides a drop-in wellness and recovery center for people struggling with addiction, mental illness, and/or trauma. Each person who enters their doors is extended a warm welcome and receives encouragement, hope, and respect.

The Community Meal is an opportunity for those they support to come together and share a good meal. 

Event Link: https://events.pointapp.org/2511

Why we love this: The P.E.E.R. Center provides important support for people that can be very misunderstood by society, and we are all about their welcoming and inclusive philosophy!

Cause: Health and Equality

Neighborhood: Whitehall 

What to enjoy nearby: If all that food has you hungry, head over to Spaghetti Warehouse for impastably delicious Italian!

Special Olympics Basketball Skills
Special Olympics Basketball Skills
Sunday, Jan 12

Swooooooosh! It’s basketball time! Special Olympics Ohio is holding a basketball workshop and you can be in on the fun. There will be skills stations (dribbling, passing, etc.) and no experience is necessary. So if you’re like me and can’t shoot a basketball AT ALL, you can still be a part of this amazing event. 

Almost everyone has heard of the Special Olympics, but did you know exactly why they’re so impactful? They support 32 team and individual sports (summer AND winter!) for folks in Ohio with intellectual disabilities, giving them opportunities to exercise, compete, and make friends.

Event Link: https://events.pointapp.org/2487

Why we love this: Special Olympics Ohio athletes and their families are never assessed fees to participate. Funds are raised at the local, area, and state levels to cover the costs in providing the training and competition opportunities for the athletes.

Cause: Health and Equality

Neighborhood: Hilliard 

What to enjoy nearby: Cha cha on over to Local Cantina to have a fiesta for your successful day on the court!

Let’s Talk About it: Addiction and Recovery
Let’s Talk About it: Addiction and Recovery
Thursday, Jan 16

Check-in guests and help set up at A Step in The Right Direction’s Addiction and Recovery session. A Step in the Right Direction helps people re-entering the community from addiction recovery programs, jail sentences, and homelessness find their first few steps to get them on a good path and make sure they can continue making good progress.  

Event Link: https://events.pointapp.org/2408

Why we love this: Are you the supportive friend in the group?This is an amazing way to step up and help those that are dealing with a really difficult time. Having a support network is so important to re-entry, and you can be part of that network. 

Cause: Poverty and Jobs

Neighborhood: Downtown Columbus

What to enjoy nearby: TheTopiary Park is right next door! Walk around and check out that beautiful shrubbery before or after the event (it closes at 8:30pm)

Good Neighbor Training
Good Neighbor Training
Thursday, Jan 16

By attending this training, you’ll learn about local and national challenges refugees face and how to help. This is the first step in being able to volunteer with Community Refugee and Immigration Services (aka CRIS), so we highly recommend attending if this is a cause you are passionate about! 

CRIS serves the growing refugee and immigrant populations in Columbus. They have a cooperative agreement with the Department of State to directly receive and place refugees in our community which is a win-win. Columbus natives get to share the beauty of our city with new neighbors, and refugees add an extra $1.6 billion to the Columbus economy every year (and bring new ideas and traditions that add extra goodness to our city).

Event Link: https://events.pointapp.org/2405

Why we love this: Listening to the news can be super depressing, and often times it feels like there’s nothing we can do. BUT now we know exactly how to get involved! We’re super excited to learn about ways we can support our fellow humans and play a part in solving the global refugee crisis.

Cause: Refugees and Peace & Justice

Neighborhood: Devonshire

What to enjoy nearby: Treat yo self to some ‘za at Borgata Pizza Cafe!

Playhouse Project Info Session
Playhouse Project Info Session
Tuesday, Jan 21

Not only does Habitat for Humanity build houses, they build playhouses too! This information session is the first step to becoming a “Playhouse Project Captain” (umm cool title, and yes, you should totally add that to your resume). But the really cool part is—after the proper training—you’ll actually be out assembling and painting playhouses for local families, providing a safe place to play and just be a kid! 

Event Link: https://events.pointapp.org/2407

Why we love this: Feel like you’re on a kids version of an HGTV show—plus imagine how cute the mini-houses will be! We’re here for it.

Cause: Family and Community Development

Neighborhood: Mifflinville

What to enjoy nearby: Roll on over to the HPL Bowling Center for a night of bowling and pizza, or get your thrift on at Ohio Thrift Stores and find your next eco-friendly OOTD!

Family ESL Volunteer Orientation
Family ESL Volunteer Orientation
Tuesday, Jan 28

If you have a heart for kids, immigrants, or refugees, this is for you. Meet families in the ESL (English as a second language) program and entertain the kiddos! Play soccer, build with legos, jump rope (throwback!), read them some stories…it’s a fun time.

Event Link: https://events.pointapp.org/2125

Why we love this: You get to have fun embracing your inner child and playing, plus you get to make these awesome kids feel welcome and loved!

Cause: Community and Refugees

Neighborhood: Mill Run/Hilliard

What to enjoy nearby: Bring your squad and head over to Dave & Buster’s afterward for a ton of fun!

No guilt trips, no sad stories. Just a chance to do something good.