- Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network- A special section, “Family Matters,” highlights volunteering as a family, with suggestions on how to participate in “National Family Volunteer Day.” http://www.pointsoflight.org
- ZOOM Into Action-ZOOM Into Action is a multimedia campaign that motivates kids to volunteer.The ZOOM Into Action Web feature at pbskids.org/zoom/action is full of great ideas for volunteer projects, volunteer success stories sent in by kids, and printable signs and certificates to ZOOMify your efforts.
- The Network for Good offers information and opportunities for volunteering, donations, and advocacy. You can search for volunteer opportunities by zip code, by age of volunteer (kids and teens are welcome), and by interest, such as animals, arts, education or health. http://www.networkforgood.org
- America’s Promise- Dedicated to building the “character and competence of our nation’s youth” and founded by General Colin Powell, America’s Promise offers volunteer opportunities such as mentoring, working with youth groups, and helping in classrooms or in museums. http://www.americaspromise.org
A young girl I know was asked what she wanted for her birthday, and she said to spend more time with her family. Her parents were busy working and had little time for the family. She knew that the greatest gift her parents could offer was their true presence. If you really love someone, you have to be fully present for him or her. Whenever you are really there, you are able to recognize and appreciate the presence of the other.
A child is very fragile and easily wounded. We need to be mindful when they try to express themselves to us. If we use negative language or become impatient, it is like ice water thrown over a tender heart. The child may not try to confide in her parents again.
First practice breathing in and out mindfully to recover yourself. Then sit close to the one you love and, in that state of deep concentration tell them, ” I am here for you.” We do not need to run into the future to have happiness. Happiness is available here and now. We can realize this even by just sharing a meal together. Every kind of practice should offer us more peace, stability, and freedom. With the support of even one person, you develop stability, and later you can reach out to others. It starts in our own families. Lets start enjoying our children, they can teach us so many things!