When my children were small, we spent one Saturday morning each month delivering Meals on Wheels. At first, we were assigned to a high-rise senior living complex, where the kids enjoyed riding the elevator, locating apartments and wheeling in meals to grateful recipients. It made them feel proud.

Later, though, we had a driving route, and the kids were stuck in the back seat while my husband and I took turns delivering food. Buckling and unbuckling car seats, along with concerns about traffic, made it too difficult to let the kids help. It wasn’t long before we began looking for another regular family volunteer opportunity. We didn’t find one.

Brandy Jemczura had a similar experience, but instead of being frustrated, she got creative, founding Seeds of Caring—an organization that creates meaningful volunteer experiences for children. A similar creativity fuels the other entrepreneurs profiled in our feature story, "Columbus Volunteer Groups Make Giving Easier." In a world where life often gets in the way of helping the community, these innovators are developing new ways for us to incorporate service in our lives.

Whatever giving means to you, you’ll find encouragement within these pages. Take the huge circle of Central Ohio residents who for 15 years have helped build and support a safe home for AIDS orphans in Kenya ("Rafiki Means Friend"). By holding concerts and fundraisers, organizing trips and engaging their churches and Rotary clubs, everyone involved has found their own way to give.

From our feature stories to information about gifts with a mission to a yearlong roster of charitable events, Giving offers ideas and inspiration. I hope you find encouragement within these pages.