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Do your dc do volunteer work?


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#1 smilesonly

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 02:13 PM

It has always been a rule at our home that our dc have a servants heart. As soon as they are able, we've strongly encouraged them to volunteer cheerfully and willingly.

As a family, we volunteer our time at a homeless shelter.

We've also participated in our neighborhood association's "help out" projects once our dc were old enough. This includes a "clean up" each season- raking leaves for the elderly, shoveling snow, helping clean windows and porches, pull weeds, pick up trash in our parks, etc..

When our 14 yo was old enough to volunteer in the nursery at our church, she started doing that. However, last winter she was really sick and I am thinking of having her take a break from the little dc during the cold and flu season. She doesn't want to, as she loves it and the dc love her. We told her she could return early Spring.;)

I'm looking for other things for her to do instead, but need to stay w/i our transportation limits. (I wish our library didn't allow men to view p*rn on the computers, but they do, so that isn't an option either-tho it would be perfect as she could ride her bike there.)

What do your dc do?

:001_smile:

#2 Gooblink

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 02:17 PM

My boys volunteer monthly at a nearby nursing home, setting bowling pins for their games. :)

I think we could do a lot more, though. I've just been lazy about seeking opportunities.

#3 pamd

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 03:54 PM

We are do meals on wheels in our area and voluteering at the Nursing homes in our areas with activities and other things. Awesome way to help all of us see and share Jesus!!!!!!!!:D

#4 smilesonly

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 05:09 PM

My boys volunteer monthly at a nearby nursing home, setting bowling pins for their games. :)

I think we could do a lot more, though. I've just been lazy about seeking opportunities.


Okay, now that sounds like a lot of serious fun and work combined!:D I would say that even my youngest would love to do this, but the pins would have to be aligned *just* so it would drive people mad!:lol:

We are do meals on wheels in our area and voluteering at the Nursing homes in our areas with activities and other things. Awesome way to help all of us see and share Jesus!!!!!!!!:D


Aww. My great-grandma did this for years-I think she was in her early '80s when she stopped! I wish we had more reliable transportation so that this would be an option. Delivering food via cycling wouldn't work out so swell!:D

#5 Melissa B

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 05:18 PM

My dd volunteers at the YMCA. Our Y is always in need of volunteers.

#6 Daisy

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 06:09 PM

We volunteer with various events at our church and weekend missions outreaches (building loft houses in Mexico).

My daughter really wants to volunteer at our local animal sanctuary (local zoo), but she has to be 16yo. Most of the places around require kids to be 16yo before they can volunteer. It is discouraging at times. I've asked the SPCA, homeless shelter, CALM, and local museums and they all have said 16yo.

I'd love a list of ideas for the 11-12yo range.

#7 samba

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 06:51 PM

Does your child play an instrument? Maybe he/she could play for the elderly who are confined to a senior facility. My dd11 is involved with a group who does art projects and performs music at a residential facility for severely disabled children and also, through our church, a senior facility.

Carolyn

#8 Erica in OR

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 07:29 PM

We volunteer at our local food bank, helping to unload food shipments and also on days that it's open, to help clients gather up food, take it to their cars, restock, etc.

Erica in OR

#9 KarenNC

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 11:03 PM

We've included our daughter in various volunteer activities since she was 4. At that age, it was primarily things like helping set out hymnals at church. She is now 10 and this has progressed to things like folding bulletins, greeting, helping set up the coffee service, helping set up for special activities like the yard sale, grounds clean up, etc. I took her with me yesterday to assist a congregation member who had broken her foot. While I washed dishes, started laundry and fixed dinner, my daughter did things like fold laundry, feed the dog, let it out, etc.

Our philosophy is that the best way to teach a child to value service to others is to have them see you do it and to participate in it with you. I've seen too many people who, while volunteering tons of time and energy themselves, never seem to think to bring their children along, when there are tasks that they could be doing. I do realize this is easier for us as we only have one child, but it's a valuable opportunity.

Other things we have done together---sort clothing at Crisis Assistance, helping out at the farm (the CSA of which we were members), helping set up or tear down for library programs, shelve books with me at the library (not old enough to do it on her own yet), hosting a Halloween party at church for younger kids, help prepare the new minister's house by painting, food drives, etc.

Things she has done on her own include arranging a pet food drive (for her Girl Scout Bronze Award), and performing a play for younger kids at the library (along with another girl, under the direction of the children's librarian). If you have a daughter, Girl Scouts can help give a lot of ideas, and I'm sure it's the same for Boy Scouts.

Our local food bank allows volunteers starting at age 12. Most things for that age will require parental involvement---gleaning, sorting clothing, etc.

#10 ElizabethB

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 11:39 PM

I'd love a list of ideas for the 11-12yo range.


Tutoring. My daughter is almost old enough to help with students younger than her. Right now she just passes out pencils and papers for my group phonics classes.

My last group class since I wrote that thread was for children of formerly homeless moms. Their improvement was great! (Of course, they were all starting out even more behind than my inner city students from Arkansas--most of them had been in and out of inner city LA schools.)

She could teach some younger students or help entertain little brothers and sisters while you teach.

#11 holdoll

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 12:08 AM

As a family, we used to pack backpacks full of food for children to take home over the weekend. These are the kids that get school breakfast and lunch but have nothing to eat over the weekend. We moved to another state and then I had a lot of health issues to deal with so I've been remiss in getting us involved.

Oldest dd volunteered at our local library for 9 months and is now volunteering at the local Children's Hospital playing games with them, and just generally keeping them "busy".

#12 Samiam

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:05 AM

My DS12 is part of a club, via a local Catholic church, that is for middle-schoolers. They meet one Saturday a month to different community service.

It's not alot, but it is something. It is hard to find organizations that will let young ones participate, at least in our area.

#13 Debbie in OR

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 10:50 AM

For the past year and a half, we've been volunteering at a local youth ranch that takes in abused horses and then opens the ranch to kids with issues to learn to ride and take care of the animals. We adore being there.

We've done a number of other things over the years (homeless shelter meals, etc.) but this is our first long-term weekly commitment.

#14 AngieW in Texas

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 11:02 AM

Wow. Our local SPCA accepts volunteers as young as 10yo. There has to be an adult with any kids under 15yo, but once they turn 15yo, they can volunteer on their own.

#15 Scoutermom

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 11:50 AM

DS volunteers twice a month for a local mom's group. He plays with the little boys and keeps them occupied while the moms are in a meeting. He had to go through training and child protection classes. I stay with him.

He also volunteers for a local food pantry carrying boxes, loading vehicles and helping stock shelves.

Because we live in a smaller community and all of the local high schools require community service as a graduation requirement the organizations can set restrictions on who does what. There are few opportunities for junior high level kids. We thought there would be many opportunities, especially with the economic situation in our community, but we were wrong.

#16 myblessings4

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 12:25 PM

My dc have helped me volunteer at the local soup kitchen. I am looking for other ideas, too, though.

#17 swellmomma

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 01:27 PM

Not regularily but we have volunteered as a family occasionally and once on their own. We face 2 hurdles for volunteering right now, proximity, our tiny village has very few times/places for them to volunteer and age restrictions, at 11 and 12 very very few places will allow them to help out at all. In the next few years however that will no longer be a concern.

#18 angela in ohio

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 03:13 PM

Yes. As a matter of fact, we made a decision that our dc will not get jobs as teens, but isntead spend the time in service, while dh and I support them.

My daughters volunteer a lot with special needs students, as that is dh's job. They work at camps as all-day aides, they volunteer in the classroom on a regular basis, and they have been 'typical peers' in music programs over the years with severly autistic students.

My son has participated in music programs and is a 'typical peer' in a classroom of physically disabled students his age.

My older daughter has also done a lot of volunteer work through her music, playing at church, in nursing homes, etc. We also do the usual walks, food drives, soup kitchen, etc. stuff. Dh is working with the volunteer coordinator at the hospital, too, to set something up weekly for older dd (that was my volunteer gig in high school.)

I used to have a little group of homeschoolers who did volunteer projects (until I got sick of bad attitudes from parents and decided to do it just by ourselves :glare:,) and we found many things to do at home: blankets for Project Linus, items for Newborns in Need, etc.

Animal shelters and rescue groups are usually really open to multi-age help, too.

#19 smilesonly

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 04:02 PM

My dd volunteers at the YMCA. Our Y is always in need of volunteers.


My dd volunteered in the childcare at the 'Y', but again, we ran into the cold/flu issue. Does your dd volunteer in another capacity there?

We volunteer with various events at our church and weekend missions outreaches (building loft houses in Mexico).

My daughter really wants to volunteer at our local animal sanctuary (local zoo), but she has to be 16yo. Most of the places around require kids to be 16yo before they can volunteer. It is discouraging at times. I've asked the SPCA, homeless shelter, CALM, and local museums and they all have said 16yo.

I'd love a list of ideas for the 11-12yo range.


We do have a no-kill cat shelter that allows dc as young as 13 to volunteer w/o an adult. My dd has asked if she can do that, but I said no.:tongue_smilie: I'm worried about her getting scratched or bitten. (I'm a bit of a worry-wort!)

That's too bad you don't have that option in your area.:grouphug:

For the past year and a half, we've been volunteering at a local youth ranch that takes in abused horses and then opens the ranch to kids with issues to learn to ride and take care of the animals. We adore being there.

We've done a number of other things over the years (homeless shelter meals, etc.) but this is our first long-term weekly commitment.


Now this sounds interesting! Do your dc help out in the care of the horses? I know that stable work is very hard work, as my sister worked for her horse lessons when she was a teen and she has a great work ethic! Anyway, this just sounds like a neat service/cause and it would be awesome to be a part of something like that. You are very blessed!

Yes. As a matter of fact, we made a decision that our dc will not get jobs as teens, but isntead spend the time in service, while dh and I support them.

My daughters volunteer a lot with special needs students, as that is dh's job. They work at camps as all-day aides, they volunteer in the classroom on a regular basis, and they have been 'typical peers' in music programs over the years with severly autistic students.


That sounds like a very appealing and worthy service. I would bet your dc have a great deal of gratitude and appreciation for their own lives and a huge heart for those who are differently-abled. A wee bit off topic, but I know when I worked in a Rehab hospital, I often thought every teenager should volunteer there so they could see the devastation of drunk/careless driving, or just how difficult day to day living tasks are for so many. Your dc are very blessed to have this opportunity.

Another off topic....I think that is a great idea to have your dc volunteer through high school. Since my dd is in the 8th grade, I am just beginning to investigate what colleges require/look for etc., so have you checked to see if not having a paying job will make a difference on their college applications? I also ask, as a dear friend has a ds in his senior year. Since his mid-junior year, he holds the #1 class ranking of all dc at his high school and he is in the IB program. He's never had a job and she doesn't encourage him to volunteer beyond neighborhood stuff. When I asked if that would hurt his college applications, she replied saying that he was being heavily sought out by Ivy's that it wasn't even on her radar. She is a struggling, single mom and the dad was abusive, so not in their lives. I worry that he may get a big wake up call when these top schools find out that all he has done over the last four years-is nonstop school work.:confused:

Thanks for sharing! It's been neat to see what services our dc are involved in. I did ask dd again about what it is she would like to do, and she wants to hold story time at the women's shelter. I feel torn as everything she desires to do is with dc!:glare: She already babysits to help pay for her extra-curricular activities.

:001_smile:

#20 Melissa B

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 04:44 PM

My dd volunteered in the childcare at the 'Y', but again, we ran into the cold/flu issue. Does your dd volunteer in another capacity there?


My daughter volunteers with the sports programs. Right now it is soccer. They also like to have office volunteers to work the photocopier and fold fliers, but my daughter has never tried that.

#21 angela in ohio

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 05:04 PM

Another off topic....I think that is a great idea to have your dc volunteer through high school. Since my dd is in the 8th grade, I am just beginning to investigate what colleges require/look for etc., so have you checked to see if not having a paying job will make a difference on their college applications? I also ask, as a dear friend has a ds in his senior year. Since his mid-junior year, he holds the #1 class ranking of all dc at his high school and he is in the IB program. He's never had a job and she doesn't encourage him to volunteer beyond neighborhood stuff. When I asked if that would hurt his college applications, she replied saying that he was being heavily sought out by Ivy's that it wasn't even on her radar. She is a struggling, single mom and the dad was abusive, so not in their lives. I worry that he may get a big wake up call when these top schools find out that all he has done over the last four years-is nonstop school work.:confused:


I did the high pressure college/scholarship interview process myself as a NMS in high school. I never once had a school ask me about my work experience (waitressing,) but it was a huge selling point that I had over 500 hours of volunteer service just at the hospital, as well as numerous other hours in other areas. I think it was one of the tipping points in the some of the larger offers I received. I am confident that a well-articulated policy of service over low-level job skills in high school will work out just fine. If they weren't doing anything, I might worry, but they will be putting in many hours of service.

#22 Leonor

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 08:19 PM

Besides church events like VBS, my ds 16 and ds14 volunteer every Tuesday evening in our local Teen Court program.

One serves as a prosecutor and one as a juror.

#23 beezus

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 05:00 PM

My dd13 started volunteering at our public library when she was 10. That was under their usual age, but we went there so often and the librarians all knew her, so they waived the age requirement for her. Maybe not all places will do that, but it might be worth checking into. My dd was also able to volunteer at our local art center after she asked one of her art teachers about it.

We also volunteer periodically for a greyhound rescue organization. The local animal shelter says volunteers have to be 16, but they will allow younger volunteers if an adult accompanies them.

#24 swellmomma

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 05:15 PM

This thread really got me thinking and added to my discussion with ds's dr today about how kids with ODD/Conduct disorder are so egocentric (as in they truly think the world revolves around them), I started trying to find a volunteer avenue to do as a family more regularily. I made a dozen phone calls today and FINALLY found a place for us to go. We will be volunteering as a family at the SPCA 45 minutes away (it is the closest one and the only one that will let even my youngest 2 help out). Even the library said my kids were too young at 11 and 12 to volunteer. So we go in there this week to fill out the required paperwork and do the short orientation, and then on to creating regular volunteer hours for us to work there. Hopefully it will be the start of all the kids (especially the older 2) having a servants heart rather than focusing only on themselves.

#25 Debbie in OR

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 10:13 PM

Now this sounds interesting! Do your dc help out in the care of the horses? I know that stable work is very hard work, as my sister worked for her horse lessons when she was a teen and she has a great work ethic! Anyway, this just sounds like a neat service/cause and it would be awesome to be a part of something like that. You are very blessed!


(Wow...I can not ever remember what threads I have posted in ....:001_huh:)

ANyhow, mostly, we scoop poop and clean up the grounds, write thank you notes to donors, keep the rings in order, weed, water, clean out the water troughs, take care of the garden, keep firewood filled, keep the tack room straight...

In the summer, it's a lot more work but we do feel blessed to be a part of it. My kids and I are all animal crazy and even though I am not particularly attached to horses, I am so happy that they have saved these abused horses and are providing a great life for them. And the kids that get to come here...it makes me so thankful we get to help.