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Local Group Helps Kids of All Ages Volunteer

"I mean it's a feeling and you don't forget that feeling," said Natalie Hildebrand, Kids Volunteer Network. "You kind of forget what people tell you but you don't forget the feeling that you felt when you helped somebody and it sparks something in children.
FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. - Many parents want their kids to volunteer but it's difficult to find volunteer opportunities for young children. One local group is trying to change that by giving kids of all ages more opportunities to volunteer and give back to their community.

These kids are active volunteers in their community thanks to the Kids Volunteer Network, a group created by one local parent who wanted more opportunities for young kids to volunteer.

"There's a real need out there, parents are recognizing they want their kids to do these types of activities but it's hard if you're a parent and you're left to kind of put the opportunity yourself.  It's really difficult but it makes it a lot easier if there's something already started," said Natalie Hildebrand, Kids Volunteer Network Director. 

Hildebrand grew up volunteering in her community and it was an experience she wanted her children to have too.

"I mean it's a feeling and you don't forget that feeling," said Hildebrand. "You kind of forget what people tell you but you don't forget the feeling that you felt when you helped somebody and it sparks something in children and they want to do it more and more."

There are about 40-45 members in the kids volunteer network. Organizers say parents sit on the sidelines while the kids do all the planning and volunteering but they're also having fun at the same time.

"I know that I'm helping people and I'm not just doing stuff for myself because I already have enough stuff," said Emma Shaffer, Kid Volunteer.

"I feel really good, I feel like I've accomplished something and that I've made other people's life a lot better," said Payton Moots, Kid Volunteer

In the future, Hildebrand wants the group to grow and build chapters of Kids Volunteer Network for other communities.

"That's what I would love to see, just community by community we kind of build this feeling of supporting each other and helping each other and coming together as a group," said Hildebrand.

The Kids Volunteer Network's next event is the county wide hygiene product drive for homeless education program. For more information about the event and joining the network, contact Natalie Hildebrand at Natalie@kidsvn.org or visit their website at: http://kidsvn.org/
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