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Community Service That's Meaningful

By: Laura Newman
Children have the capacity to help others and it is more important than ever to convey this to our kids. By offering time we are able to show our children that in the larger picture, we all matter and can make a difference. Before your start, find out if your child is old enough to participate by phoning your local Chamber of Commerce who can give you information about organizations in your area that may have volunteer opportunities you had not previously considered. In the meantime, see the easy suggestions below that can help your child make a difference in the lives of others.

  • Donate to a food pantry by having your child pick out one item each time you go to the store. When you get a bagful, take it to the pantry with your child and see if they are able to help place the items carefully on the shelf beside other donations so they can better grasp the concept.
  • Walk to fight disease: March of Dimes, Heart Walk, and Walk for Autism…Not only are these walks heart healthy, but they provide invaluable family time while contributing to a cause.
  • Together, assemble special boxes filled with cards, small games, puzzles, or books for children in the hospital (call first to ensure that all guidelines and policies are met on distribution). You can also do the same for assisted living communities or nursing homes.
  • Offer to plant a small garden of flowers at a nursing home which can be visited on occasion providing added delight in the progress of its growth.

Ensure that you are the best you can be in order to better nurture your children and convey the importance of self care, confidence and meaningful activities that support others. Nurture yourself and teach your child to do the same by celebrating goals achieved and even those goals laid out but not yet completed. By developing an action plan to offer community service, you acknowledge the importance of giving to others. This concept when revisited over and again will strengthen your child’s commitment and confidence. Don’t forget to laugh, play and dance to the music of life. You and your child will find enormous joy in becoming re-energized by giving back!

Bio: Laura Newman is the Quality Assurance and Education Program Specialist at the corporate office of a child care franchise. With twenty four years of experience she designed curricula, managed a consulting business, led parenting and early education workshops, and the design and development of newsletters. She sits on the executive board of the Georgia Preschool Association, is an Advisory Panel Member of the Georgia Child Care Association (GCCA) and is a member of the several national and state associations. Laura and her husband have four children.