Building up the next generation of philanthropists
Words by Miranda Shaffer
Illustration by Nathalie Maxey
It is often said that children are our hope of a bright future and better world—which is why it is so important to build up kids with the values of doing good and giving back to their community. In 2016, Sally Mundell created The Packaged Good, a Dunwoody, Georgia based organization that would accomplish just that—a non-profit volunteer opportunity created for children and families who are looking for a hands-on way of giving back.
Sally’s vision for The Packaged Good began back in 2013 after the loss of her husband. With two young daughters and a newfound desire to focus on the important things in life, Sally began looking for volunteer opportunities in which she and her children could concentrate on doing good for others.
Giving back had always been important to Sally’s husband, and that was something she wanted to start instilling in her kids at a young age. However, she soon found that there was a complete lack of volunteer opportunities for young children in her area, with most organizations accepting help from only teens and adults.
Rather than give up, Sally decided she would fill this hole in the community by creating The Packaged Good—a place for children to make care packages, write letters, color greeting cards, and learn about the value of giving back to others.
The Packaged Good’s mission statement is to build up the next generation of philanthropists. This mission is already coming to fruition after only a few short years, as many of the kids who volunteered at a young age come back as teenagers to lead volunteer work. Many other volunteers use the giving spirit they developed there to continue to serve with different organizations that meet the needs in their community.
In order to fulfill whatever needs arise locally, The Package Good partners with a number of other nonprofit organizations to put on several large-scale events throughout the year. In one such event, the kids packed almost 3,000 bags full of school supplies for low income students in the Atlanta area. The group also hosts smaller-scale events where kids can participate in activities such as writing thank-you notes to first responders, packing toiletries for those in need, or making handmade cards for the elderly.
Throughout the volunteering process, the kids are also taught about important subjects such as homelessness, hunger, and disabilities. It’s important that they understand why they are doing what they are doing and who it’s helping.
Due to COVID-19, many events in the past few months have been cancelled, but the organization quickly pivoted to create something new. To fill the gap during these uncertain times, they developed The Packaged Good at Home. The organization allows families to continue to help others from their own home with an online site containing downloadable signs and cards that kids can color for local first responders, a list of needs from partnering charities, supply lists for make-at-home bags, and information on where to drop off or send donations.
Another exciting opportunity The Packaged Good at Home offers is its monthly Zoom call with a community helper. Kids can listen in and ask questions about what their local doctors, police officers, and teachers are doing during this time to help people, as well as learn the small things they can do to help out.
The Packaged Good continues to make a huge impact, not only on those it directly benefits, but also in the lives of the children volunteering. As they grow up, they experience the joy of giving back—and they take those habits with them as they step into adulthood.