Volunteering and Food

On April 27th, 2011, posted in: Serious topics by 0 Comment
Volunteering is a big part of the culture of this nation.  Barn raisings, when the neighbors would get together to build a barn that takes a crowd to build—that’s volunteering.  Bringing meals to the family down the street when a member of that family has taken ill—that’s volunteering.  Beach cleanups and tree planting days—volunteerism again.
Bringing your siblings’ kids to volunteer projects has terrific benefits for the kids and their parents and you.  First, the projects are a blast.  You are working together with those kids to make the world a better place in some way. You are accomplishing tasks together, working side by side and GSD—Getting Stuff Done.  You are mixing with other people doing the same thing, giving their time and talents toward making real progress.
Your nieces and nephews will sop up the ether of the moment.  It’s good ether.  When people get together to work together to make things better, it’s the best version of those people coming together.  Your nieces and nephews will somehow apprehend the special sauce of the moment.  They will get it, and they will relish it.
They will revere you for bringing them into this moment.  Doing work—fun.  Completing tasks—fun.  Working with a group toward a common purpose—fun.  Working toward a common purpose larger then ourselves—what could be better?
Select your volunteer projects wisely.  Choose projects that are well organized and meaningful, so that your time and the kids’ time is well spent and you get something done.
Make sure that somehow food is part of the experience.  Kids appreciate an immediate, tangible and relevant reward for their efforts.  If the volunteer project doesn’t center around a celebratory meal at the end or offer a great lunch, don’t pick that project.  If you have to take your nieces and nephews for a bite after the project, then do that.  Just make sure that the kids get fed with something they really like, and that they connect that great meal with their volunteer project.
Do good work, hang out with fun people who have big hearts, and eat.  That’s the formula.

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