March 30, 2010

Family Volunteer Opportunity at Food Gatherers During Spring Break

Some very odd coincidences have been happening to me of late that have led to a great opportunity for my family. 

...  I have been considering what to do with my children during spring break next week
... I have been thinking about the next volunteering opportunity for my children and I,
... And I have been reading a great book "You'll Thank Me Later" that gives parents an understanding of how to help their children become more grateful, so that they will grow up to be respectful, responsible and happier adults.

So where have these odd coincidences led me? To an e-mail I received about two Family Volunteer Days at Food Gatherers!

Volunteering is something that I have done throughout my life - my parents always encouraged it. It has been one way for me to give back when it might have otherwise been a cost-challenge. Giving back is also something that I am teaching my children, even at their young ages. In general volunteering seems to be a rising trend, whether it is because Disney offered up the opportunity to receive a free amusement park ticket in exchange for a day of volunteering or simply because one parent wanted to provide a means to give their child food for thought through volunteering.
"Involving children in volunteering and community service is an excellent way to help them gain perspective about the benefits of their lives. And learn gratitude." says Annie Zirkel, Licensed Professional Counselor, Relationship Counsultant and author of You'll Thank Me Later "Of course this needs to be done just right, taking into account the child's age and sensitivity to situations that they will be exposed to. That's the trick - not overdoing it and not under doing it."
Volunteering is a wonderful thing really, and has many benefits to children, teens and adults alike.  Benefits of teaching a child the value of volunteering include:
  • An increased sense of connectedness in your children,
  • Passing on of family values,
  • Seeing immediate results of their actions for positive impact, 
  • Increases in self-esteem and self-image,
  • Greater confidence in learning new skills and being exposed to new experiences,
  • Volunteering can help dissolve the materialistic and self-centered attitudes,
  • and a great sense of satisfaction
In the instance of the volunteering opportunity at Food Gatherers next week, my son and I will be there on Wednesday.  By the time this article posts however I would bet that many of the spaces on either Monday, April 5th - 2-3:30 p.m. or Wednesday, April 7th - 10-11:30 a.m. will be filled.  That should NOT however discourage you from calling (734-761-2796) to see what is available for families with children ages 5-12 or when future opportunities will be present.  It is also possible to sign up at the Food Gatherers site to receive e-mail alerts for volunterring opportunities (Once at the site, sign up for the “FG Volunteers” group).

What a GREAT way to strengthen the family bond, contribute to a worthy organization AND have a meaningful conversation with your child in a positive environment. If happen to be at Food Gatherers next Wednesday be sure to say "hello" ~ Zach and I will be there helping to either help sort recently donated food and pack up 'family' boxes, or they may help sort and repackage incoming produce that will be distributed to partner agencies for families in need of food assistance.


  1. Such a wonderful post! Getting children involved in service at an early age teaches empathy and compassion. And, volunteering as a family is a meaningful way to spend quality time together. Check out Doing Good Together ( This organization has been an amazing resource for me in finding family-friendly opportunities.

  2. Thanks for the information Rachel, I'll be sure to check it out!