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Each week 11-year-old Macyn Bradley spends time doing something she enjoys: volunteering. On Wednesday mornings, the Arizona Virtual Academy (AZVA) student works alongside her mom at a nonprofit organization called the House of Timothy, which provides support and supplies to young families in an under served area of the community. Macyn is an integral part of the process for the non-profit in her work with children and interaction with their families each week.  Online learning plays an important role in allowing Macyn the opportunity to volunteer while also excelling in her classes.

“Volunteering is fun, and it doesn’t take too much time away from other things,” said Maycn, who has been a volunteer at the House of Timothy for the past five years.

Macyn’s mom, Karen, created the non-profit in 2013 to provide families in the Phoenix, Arizona, area with education and support. Starting House of Timothy was a way to show her children the importance of volunteering. “I feel it’s important to give back to your community, something I wanted to pass on to all of my children,” Karen said.

Some of the services that the House of Timothy provides include childbirth education, pregnancy support, postpartum education, and parental education. The organization also opens its doors once a week to provide a safe place for the families to gather for support and pick up necessary supplies, such as diapers, that they would otherwise go without.

Thanks to her online school schedule, Macyn has the freedom to be a part of the entire process, from preparing for the week to cleaning up. She also interacts with the children and families through story time, crafting, and play time and sing-a-longs.

“I have gotten really close with some of the moms and kids who come here. It’s a good way to spend time with my mom, but also get to help other people,” she said.

Macyn typically works on school work before the House of Timothy gathers for the Wednesday morning classes and then catches up on any additional assignments when she gets home, something she says she would not be able to if she attended a traditional brick-and-mortar school.

“By volunteering, I am able to give kids a chance to have fun away from the house,” Macyn said. Through this opportunity, Macyn also has the chance to be involved in teaching these young children important basic skills, such as learning how to cut and glue. These skills, Macyn said, helps prepare them for school.

Macyn’s volunteer experience has given her a head start on her dreams. After she graduates from AZVA, the 6th grader hopes to attend Northern Arizona University, and one day teach kindergarten.

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