Children, Emotions

Lessons Learned from Volunteering this Weekend

This weekend I had the pleasure of volunteering at King Lincoln Park Day in Newport News, VA. It was a great day for a festival and being on the water we had relief from the heat due to a steady sea breeze.  We brought my three year old along as well hoping he would start to understand the meaning of giving back to the community.  Although he was more interested in playing in the bounce houses, I still feel like it was a successful day all around and it taught me a few things as well!

1.  Arts and crafts are still appealing

Something about being creative and walking away with a final product that is yours appeals to children and adults alike. We were stationed at the Color and Fly your own butterfly booth.  Which, by the way, was located directly next to the first bounce house.  Perhaps strategic in the hopes it would draw more participants, we truly has a steady line all day long. We used these Color-Me Magic Butterflies and they were a giant hit!  Toddlers to teenagers and even most of the parents got in on the action, creating beautiful and sometimes intricate works of art and then took to the grass next to us to make them fly. So much joy could be heard coming from our little corner.  Proof to me that the simple things can still bring fun if you are in the mindset to let it. 

2. Kids just need a little encouragement sometimes

There was one young man who truly touched my heart.  He came to the booth, iPod blaring in my ears, and quietly asked if he could make a butterfly. He was obviously old enough to walk around without direct parent supervision but wasn’t with a gaggle of other tweets or teens like some of the others.  He probably spent 30 minutes making a a very intricate design. During this time, he hardly spoke and when he did  finally I was surprised with his question, “Was middle school hard for you?”  Not sure how to answer I told him simply it was certainly harder than elementary and took some studying and work. My husband then asked his favorite subjects, “Science and math, but I hate reading”. He also said he “used to draw” and seemed quite upset that he didn’t any more.  I told him I could see his talent and he should continue to do what he liked. His face lit up, as if all he wanted was some encouragement and he had finally gotten it.  I do hope he follows his dreams and finds other adults in his life to encourage him as well.  

So my advice, go volunteer somewhere this summer. Go do for others and you’ll find it does something for you.

I hope you Find your balance and live a Ying Yang Life.

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