Adult Alabamians have long known the satisfaction and joy of doing for others, especially around the holidays.
But Ashley Seligson noticed children were often missing from volunteering opportunities where she participated.
So Seligson created Little Hands Serving Hearts, a nonprofit that gives children an opportunity to help others in their communities.
“Little Hands Serving Hearts is a nonprofit organization that creates volunteer opportunities for children ages 12 and under,” Seligson explained. “Through these volunteering opportunities, it is our hope that they can experience empathy, compassion and the importance of community.”
This Christmas, Little Hands Serving Hearts is partnering with Be A Blessing Birmingham to serve a traditional potluck Christmas dinner for the homeless at Linn Park at 11 a.m. on Dec. 21. All who attend the dinner will receive a wrapped gift.
“It is so important for children to give back at a young age because they will be the change for the next generation,” Seligson said. “We have given thousands of children the opportunities to volunteer. We have two big events every year at Thanksgiving and spring break. We pack bags of food to give to inner city schools and provide assistance. Each time we do that, that’s 2,500 kids that we provide food for.”
Little Hands Serving Hearts has had an impact on thousands in the community.
“Although I’m not a Grinch around Christmas time, I feel like my heart grows each time we participate and help others,” Seligson said, referencing the redeeming result of the Dr. Seuss character’s change of heart. “What I always say is this: The secret to living is giving.”
Ashley Seligson’s husband, Alex, and two children, Braxton, 9, and Brooklyn, 6, support Ashley and participate with the foundation.
“This started on a grass roots level.” Alex said. “We invited our friends and family to help, and it’s grown into something really amazing. Our friends and their children love volunteering and helping folks with us, especially during the holidays.”
The Seligson children are knowing the delight and significance of helping others.
“The fun part about volunteering is receiving the joy of giving back to the community,” Braxton said. “Having the experience of giving produces extraordinary joy and love.”
Brooklyn enjoys the whole process.
“I like volunteering because it’s so much fun to give,” she said. “I have fun packing everything up and getting it all in the truck.”
Alabama Bright Lights captures the stories, through words, pictures and video, of some of our state’s brightest lights who are working to make Alabama an even better place to live, work and play. Award-winning journalist Karim Shamsi-Basha tells their inspiring stories. Email him comments, as well as suggestions on people to profile, at [email protected].