Thursday, May 11, 2006

Volunteering

For a few months now the kids and I have been discussing the need for them to do volunteer work. My feelings are that my kids need to learn more responsibility and to care more about someone other than themselves. They’re good kids but they can be a little selfish at times. So to me, volunteering is the perfect way for them to learn these lessons, build self esteem, and find the joy you get from helping others.

We had already discussed possibly volunteering at a senior center close by or assisted living community. The Humane Society is out because Big B has severe allergies to pet dander (mostly just dogs). Another thought was the Soup Kitchen downtown. I had also already decided that we would pick up trash at some of the local parks as well.

Then a few weeks ago two opportunities literally fell into our laps. The Library is taking applications for teen volunteers for the summers so Big B filled one out and if he gets on there then he can put his love of books to good use. The second one is thanks to our friend K who works for the local Wildlife Rescue which is always in need of volunteers. .

The Wildlife Rescue takes mostly teen and adult volunteers but Sissy is allowed with an adult who will take responsibility for her. The only problem was that I can’t be there with her because I have to have the Wild Child aka Lil Man around. Thankfully K said Sis can volunteer during her shifts and she will keep an eye out for her. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my daughter happier.

So both Sis and Big B have started volunteering on Fridays and Big B volunteers on Mondays as well. They do everything from cleaning cages, changing mats, making food, feeding the nonendangered animals…lots of “grunt” work which I think will be good for them both.

They both love it so far and have decided that they are going to be Rehabilitators one day. It’s so nice to see my kids actually into something that helps others. Of course, it doesn’t surprise me though because Big B is into raptors and birds in general so I knew he would find at least some interest in it. Sis is in love with all animals and truly comes alive around them. I had no doubt she would be good at this and I’m glad I was right.

My kids are learning responsibility, kindness, and heck they are even getting a good Science lesson each time as well! lol. You can’t beat that! The kids also get to be around K’s son, Thor (not his real name but it’s a God I know he likes), who I feel is a good influence on them. He also knows the ropes at the Wildlife Rescue and is able to help the kids learn how things work.

I think this is something my kids will be doing for a long time to come. Very rarely do people find their niche so quickly but thanks to the help of a friend my kids have found theirs and are finding the joy and satisfaction of volunteering.

As for me, I’m still looking for something I can do with a rampaging three year old attached to my hand. Any suggestions?

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