Every so often, we like to highlight some of the wonderful things happening in NH's homeschool community. This time we're sharing one family's volunteering experiences and how it benefits their young children.
Growing up, I had the opportunity to participate in a number of volunteer opportunities. I used to accompany my mother when she would volunteer at the food bank in the basement of our church. I would prep and portion out food and I even had my own “station” to hand out items as the patrons passed through. I remember how excited I felt to be able to be assisting grownups, when I was just a child. Usually, it was the adults who helped the children. I had been rather shy and introverted growing up. I remember how this helped play a part in building my confidence, finding my voice and developing my social skills. When I started my own family, I knew it was important to me to be able to give my children the same opportunity when it came to volunteering. Starting the search, I found myself running into many roadblocks due to their ages (8 and 11) with very little opportunities available. I made multiple calls to multiple locations running into the same results. I then got in touch with our local food pantry to see if there were any tasks we could partake in and alas, we found success. Due to their ages, they could not have direct interaction with the patrons, but we would go in weekly and prep the delivery bags for the drivers, who in turn would deliver the items the patrons needed for the week. We have since transitioned to stocking the shelves. Our youngest enjoys “shopping” and checking the lists, inventory and recording the equipment temperatures. We were also introduced to volunteer opportunities at Darbster Kitty in Manchester. We stop in to socialize the cats and our oldest loves to cuddle, snuggle and entertain the cats in the shelter while they wait for their “furever” home. She’s been able to learn about compassion as well as proper animal care and needs. I think it’s important to show children they can make a difference in this world. The skills they pick up volunteering in the community are invaluable and it gives them a sense of pride to know they are making a difference. If you’re interested in having your children volunteer, I encourage you to reach out to organizations in your community to see if they have something you could partake in.
By Erika Doyle