I have been trying to teach my son about the value of service, of giving back and volunteering. National Volunteer Week is a great time to put those lessons into practice for him, for me, and for Portraits that Move.
I have vivid memories of volunteering with my synagogue as a young child. We went to an elderly care center and performed for the senior citizens there. It was moving and emotional and made me feel proud to have added some joy to their day. And that lesson of going into the community and sharing joy and support stays with me to this day.
As a parent, I am often trying to find ways to weave this lesson into our daily life. This week, my son and I and made sandwiches at a soup kitchen. It was fun, easy and meaningful. He told me that he was happy that the men would not have to look for lunch that day and that it made him feel good to have helped them.
In the collaborations for Portraits That Move, we make it part of our mission to give back and to inspire others to contribute their time, attention and compassion, too. Recently, we created a Kickstarter campaign video for a local family who is opening a children’s book store in Brooklyn.
Inspired by our work with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, we walk in the Alex’s Million Mile event every fall and hold lemonade stands throughout the summer to support this organization that helps bring joy and hope to so many children and their families.
We also support the Kids In Need Foundation, an organization that supplies schools supplies to kids who would not otherwise be able to have them.
Volunteering teaches kids that the world is bigger than they are and that it is important to give back to those who are in need. Ultimately, volunteering, and participating in Volunteer Week in whatever ways we can, is a gift we give to ourselves. And it is easy to incorporate into our lives.
How do you and your family give back? What suggestions do you have for others looking to do the same? Share with us!