While we are going about our busy, daily lives it is so important to keep our less-fortunate neighbors and friends in mind. Children learn how to be kind and caring from parents. While it is easy to see when a family member or close friend needs help, it is also essential, as community members, to extend our goodwill to those we might not know or ever meet.
Children learn how to kind and caring from their parents and/or primary caregivers at a young age. That is the foundation for being compassionate to those all around us.
Freshman and sophomore members of the confirmation program are required to perform 25 hours of community service in Madison during their two years of preparation. While some of the children cannot fathom how they will ever complete the requirement, said Monica Piombino, coordinator of the church’s Youth Ministry, once many find a meaningful project, they often exceed the minimum requirement.
“The reason we set a particular number of hours for community service is not necessarily for them to fill the requirement down to the last minute,” Piombino explained, “but for them to hopefully engage in a variety of activities, or even better, a couple of long projects, where they will really become engaged and get energized and motived by the experience and discover something about themselves in the process.”
How do you teach your children compassion for the less fortunate? Do you engage, as a family, in charitable events in your community, your state or your country?
Years ago I was introduced to a new organization named (RTG). Since it was started more than 10 years ago it has grown into an important nonprofit agency working to introduce the young to a lifelong love of learning.
“Read to Grow helps build literacy right from birth. We are the only statewide nonprofit organization that connects with parents in the hospital setting and prepares them to take an active role in their child's literacy development from day one,” says their website. “To help parents create language-rich homes in which children can develop critical early skills, we provide books to families and to the program that interact with infants, toddlers, and school-age children and their parents.”
Over the years I have spent countless hours running book drives, along with my daughters Ana and Sophia, to fill the warehouse shelves.
My girls have been showered with books all their lives. Reading was an essential element of our home before the girls could walk or talk. I remember reading to both girls as newborns. Bob would come home from work most days and find me snuggled up on the couch with a baby and a book.
Today both Ana and Sophia are avid readers.
That is why RTG is the perfect organization for us to concentrate on when doing community service. It warms our hearts to know our little contribution is helping build a love of reading for other children who might otherwise never own a book.
What goes into your decision to choose a charitable organization to work with? How do you choose what you and your family do in the community? What have you done lately for your neighbor?