When I was young, community service was mainly for inmates and those being disciplined for minor infractions. When I learned that it was it for everyone, I jumped right in. So have my kids and grandkids.
Remember the Candy Stripers? They were young women who volunteered in hospitals across the country. Their uniforms were red and white striped. Therefore, some referred to them as “candy cane girls.”
We had Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and various other child-oriented, personal growth and community service oragnizations, but they were isolated to children apart from their families.
My entire family volunteered at our local church. We took food and blankets to the elderly, visited the sick and even rolled bandages for foreign missionaries working with lepers.
However, this type of whole-family service wasn’t widely available in our communities.
Today, we can all jump in together. We rarely need professional skills and sometimes a ten minute, hands-on, training session is all it takes to prepare for the task.
When my kids were growing up, I regularly took them to pack care packages for the elderly and to assist with clean-up projects. They also planted trees, flowers and pulled weeds.
As a grandmother, I delight in seeing my older grandkids assisting with programs for immigrants and trotting around town performing random acts of kindness.
As for my youngest grands, we pack holiday packages for children around the world and drop off hats and mittens for the homeless. We’ve also collected canned goods for food pantries.
Now, what about those “tweens?” My grandsons and daughters ages ten to twelve years love to assist with younger children. They’ve helped supervise park, fun days, vacation Bible schools and inner-city, literacy programs.
What types of community service would you enjoy with your grandkids?
Have a family pow-wow. Discuss the interests of you and your grandchildren. Would you like to volunteer once a month, for a couple hours, or for seasonal help?
When we teach our children and grandchildren to consider the needs of others, we’re helping to build a legacy of love that knows no bounds.