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This post about balancing a plentiful life with community volunteering has been sponsored by Reward Volunteers. All opinions are my own.
I look around the area I live in and am both awed and slightly shocked by the wealth that surrounds us. My teens’ friends have homes with actual media rooms in them. Many had the newest iPhone by age 8. They often get brand new cars for their 16th birthday. This is not the way we raised our children. I don't want them to think this is common for most people. My husband and I are financially stable but careful with our spending. We needed our kids to know that they were blessed. We don't hand out new cars and $200 sneakers but they ARE blessed. While surrounded by wealth and privilege, I try to balance our plentiful life with community volunteering in an effort to keep them grounded in reality. And with Cabot’s Reward Volunteers, you can help your community AND earn prizes for you as well!
Balancing a Plentiful Life with Community Volunteering
The Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry is affiliated with the church that we chose before the kids were even born. Our church has many outreach programs, including a food pantry. Members can drop off canned goods to be brought to the coop for families in need. When the kids were younger, we brought bags of food to donate every few months. As they got older, I felt that this really wasn't enough. I didn't want them to think that societal problems could be solved just by writing a check. Of course, checks are very much needed, but actual people are needed even more. I wanted to encourage them to get 'hands on' in many aspects of community volunteering and started looking for ways to volunteer with them in my community. We signed up up for training classes with the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry and have been volunteering there for years.
Volunteering with Teens
Volunteering with teens isn't always easy. Getting them out of bed on a Saturday morning to get to the coop at 9 AM is challenging. And, they aren't the most social of creatures. We volunteer in the pantry itself. This means that sometimes they have to talk to the people who show up to receive assistance. It was hard at first because it was new and intimidating for them. However, I have found that they don't put up too much of a fight about going anymore. Now that they are older, I think they realize that they are NEEDED. My son is 18 and my daughter is 16. They are old enough to understand that they have a plentiful life and that giving back to the community is incredibly important. This is something we do as a family and I hope they continue their community volunteering as they get older.
About the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry
The Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry has been serving the citizens of Gwinnett County, Georgia for more than 20 years. They are so much more than just a food pantry. One of their primary goals is to help people become fully responsible for themselves. That means more than just giving them a meal. They offer many other services as well, including vouchers for clothing, help with utility bills and occasional financial support for prescription drug costs. They offer everything from traditional canned foods to birthday boxes for children and even some fresh foods when donated by farmers. Before volunteering at the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry, my whole family attended a training session and were shown around the facility by lead volunteers. It has honestly been a wonderful experience for all of us and hope we can continue to find time to help out there.
Cabot Reward Volunteers Program
April is National Volunteer Month, dedicated to honoring people who volunteer in their communities and to encourage volunteerism in general. The Cabot’s Reward Volunteers program is a system designed to allow you to track your volunteer hours. As your organization and YOU gain more volunteer hours, there are benefits to be earned besides that good feeling in your heart! Prizes may include cash, vacations, gift cards, gift baskets, and many other items. Reward Volunteers also provides information about volunteering opportunities in your area if you aren't sure where to help out. Organizations themselves also benefit when they register to be a Reward Volunteers organization and their volunteers log their hours.
You can check out the Reward Volunteers website to learn more and to sign up!
The Reward Volunteers dashboard is incredibly easy to navigate. If your organization is not in their database, you can add it with their contact info and address. Then, just log in and record your volunteer hours. Add ALL the organizations you help out with your time! The more hours you enter, the more prizes you earn. And, of course, the more your community thrives and appreciates your assistance!
While surrounded by wealth and privilege, balance a plentiful life with community volunteering to keep kids grounded in reality. There are so many families out there who need help from their communities. And if the food bank isn't your thing, try a river cleanup, shoe recycling drive, or any other community service project that inspires you. Teach kids to give back to the community and make sure to record your hours with the Cabot Reward Volunteers program!
Is Community Volunteering Important to Your Family?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.