To be completely honest, we haven’t done much volunteering as a family. Sure we’ve done things through church, delivered food during the holidays and constantly try to instill in our children the importance of giving to others and being grateful for what we have, but we haven’t given them many Hands On experiences (no pun intended).
“But they’re only 4 & 5!” I hear you saying…
True. I’m not talking about making them collect garbage on the side of a busy highway or doing prison ministry just yet.
What I am talking about is having them help and have conversations with those less fortunate than us.
Sometimes I fear that because we are so frugal and we do teach them about saving money and spending less, that they’ll end up with a poverty mentality and therefore expect the world to take care of them. While we don’t have much according to the world’s standards, statistics show that because we live in the U.S., we are actually in the top 3% income level for the world! So even our standards of “poor” cannot compare to the poverty that exists outside of our zone of comfort. (Ok, I’ll get off my soap box now).
That being said, we went down to West Nashville Methodist Church on Charlotte Ave to help prepare & serve a meal, commune with those eating and then help clean up. Not only did I learn so much from Jonathan with Good Food for Good People about local farmers markets and the like, but it reminded me how small efforts can make such a big impact on others.
Sometimes I feel like people don’t talk to people outside their circle of influence because they don’t know what to say. My advice: don’t say anything. Listen instead.
We’re already looking forward to going back in two weeks. Not because we have to, not because someone is giving us something, but simply because we’ve been reminded of the importance of giving back within our community.
What I especially loved about the dinner tonight is that they not only want to feed the homeless, but they want it to be a community dinner where people from every walk of life can come and share a meal together.
So check it out – if you’re looking for a place to help out or simply a place to bring your family for an unconventional dining experience, join us on Thursdays at 5:30pm at West Nashville Methodist Church. As I find more opportunities with these great groups, I’m going to share those with you as well.