Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Volunteer Opportunities

This is my grandaughter Word Girl. In this picture she is pouring drinks, not for herself, but for those that we came to serve. Word Girl has expressed an interest in wanting to help others in need since she was very small. I could see that this was something that God had put on her heart so I began to pray for an opportunity. Unfortunately it's not that easy to find hands-on volunteer opportunities that children can take part in due to liability issues. I think that's sad because it teaches them how to take part in volunteer efforts as adults. I believe that a lot more adults would get involved in volunteer work if they had some previous exposure, and when children grow up doing volunteer work, then it is more likely to become part of their lifestyle.

A few years ago God opened up an opportunity where we could volunteer as a family to serve women that have left a life of abuse. Once a week families in the transitional living program met for counseling and a meal was served before their sessions began. So every 3 weeks my granddaughters and I would bring a meal to serve to these families.

All of the girls loved doing this. The two little ones didn't serve food but still ministered to the children as they played with them. They understood our purpose there and were quite patient about waiting until we served others before fixing them a plate. I love what this has taught them. Since that time Word Girl asks me periodically when we can do it again. God has recently laid it on my heart to start getting involved in helping the homeless and I plan on trying to find a way that she can be involved.

When it comes to volunteer work it's easy to opt out because it is not required. Volunteering is choosing to help someone else instead of doing something for our self. Teach the little ones in your life to do something selfless and volunteer at the church, a rescue mission, or a special project to benefit someone else.

We could not take pictures of anyone in the program but here's my little ones enjoying their meal.

After we packed everthing up to go home we took a few pictures of the girls being who God created them to be, distinctly individual and unique. Of course I have to add ... Aren't they just adorable!? :D

(This is a revision of one of my posts from October, 2008.)

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Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

Edie: Love this post! Each summer, we pray for specific ways the children could serve the Lord by serving others. The first summer we did this, He simply had us bring our neighbors' trash cans up after they were emptied (twice a week) and bring their newspapers to the doorstep each morning (that we left at the bottom of the driveway). God was teaching them about literally loving their neighbors through that.

They are older now, and I have been praying for the Lord to reveal His plans for this summer. Tomorrow is the last day of we will begin soon!

Your post is perfect timing!!!

Your post reminds me of one of our favorite verses the kids memorized:

1 Timothy 4:2
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.


Terry said...

This was an excellent post. Our family is a part of a church that is an urban ministry to the poor in our area. In addition to being at church services, we go to the public housing projects where we participate in cookouts (often with clothing and food giveaways). During the cookouts, we instruct our 7 year-old son that his job is to play with the kids in the projects. He understands that he is helping by becoming friends with other kids in need. In addition, we have found that the Cub Scouts offer several great opportunities to serve others in the community. Our son has participated in a food drive, a Christmas party for nursing home residents, and other activities through the Scouts that help people in our community.

I appreciate your encouragement to provide opportunities for our children to help others. Thank you!

From the Heart said...

A great learning experience for children. My oldest daughter is looking for a church with a community outreach program. She feels a need to be involved with something like that. I am so glad she is planning to do this.

Have missed you, hope everything is going well with you.
Love you, AE

Stacy Wittkamp said...

Great post!
One of the biggest reasons why Christians don't experience joy in their lives is that they never learned what it is to serve!
What a great lesson to learn early!

Alene said...

Thanks for reposting! This is beautiful. Your girls are so precious. Great to catch up with you. Blessings friend.