April is National Volunteer month. The hope is that many people will latch on to a cause that is important to them, something that has meaning and gives them a reason to smile, and will activate participation. Even simply witnessing acts of selfless kindness and giving tends to bring out the ‘Good Samaritan’ in all of us. This month is about encouraging people to take a stand for the charity of their choice and actively participate in helping to move that organization and cause forward; and what a wonderful lesson for our children. The only charities that succeed are those that are supported by willing and able individuals. People are the power behind getting causes to actually reach a level of success, hence enabling those that are served to reap the benefits.
Children in this day and age tend to be selfish, focused only on themselves, have a false sense of entitlement, and not really care or even know about the ongoing issues in the world and the problems that people face daily. Having children volunteer is one of the best lessons they can learn about caring, concern, thankfulness, and actually being able to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s shoes’. The earlier the child starts the better. This truly helps to mold them and their ideas of the world and the overall needs of others. It also teaches them that we are all in this together and that we need to help one another to be successful as a whole. Informing them that this goes even further than their community, and introducing them to many ways that they can be a part of positive change really gives them the big picture. This also gives them the confidence to take on a challenge and be responsible for the outcome of something imperative and the benefit of someone else. Which by the way, is also a lesson in independence, and we as single parents need to shape our kids into being more independent, as every little bit helps.
There are many charities that support many different causes, so finding some that are either underserved or have a personal meaning to you may be a good way to start when introducing your children to the art of volunteerism. Perhaps your child is interested in charities that aid children. There are many charities that help children in the areas of housing, clothing, food, and even providing an outlet via sports and arts. Habitat for Humanity serves those families in need of housing, and allows diligent low income families to own homes that are safe and affordable. The organization also helps rebuild homes in communities nationwide that have suffered loss at the hands of a natural disaster.
Last fall Habitat for Humanity made a commitment to help 50,000 Haitian families recover from the 2010 catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. Over 500 volunteers built 100 homes in just 1 week. This is proof that people and their sheer motivation can truly make a difference in the lives of others. This is a great family volunteerism project.
For more information contact:
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver Administrative Office
3245 Eliot Street, Denver, CO 80211
Office Phone: 303-534-2929
Office Fax: 303-534-2727
Come back soon for more volunteer opportunities in your community.