So, you are probably wondering why seniors make the best volunteers? The first thing that comes to mind is the experience an older adult has accumulated in his or her lifetime. Secondly, seniors have learned to tap into the wealth of people who need help not only because they have a lot to give but also because they are aware of some of the needs that are out there. There is a lot of research showing that seniors receive a lot more in return. I’m not saying that seniors volunteer for the sole reason of getting back, but I am saying that once they get started, they realize that they are the prime beneficiaries.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
— Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and statesman
As I pointed out in my last post about senior volunteers, there are many children out there who need our help and guidance. Unfortunately, we think children’s needs are being met by the “systems” already in place, and some of them are but many are left behind. There is a growing number of children that need help. Helping them could actually foster such an improved generation of children that our juvenile justice and prison systems will wonder where they went. You will definitely want to check out this article written by teens that shows the importance to them of having good relationships with their family.
Be ever watchful for the opportunity to shelter little children with the umbrella of your charity; be generous to their schools, their hospitals, and their places of worship. For, as they must bear the burdens of our mistakes, so are they in their innocence the repositories of our hopes for the upward progress of humanity. Conrad Hilton
Volunteers can help to restore broken and abusive relationships.One organization that helps with this is Strengthening Families who works with children ages 6 – 12 and their families to improve family relationships, parenting skills, and life skills. Not knowing appropriate life skills is particularly important for students, and these limitations have effectively kept children apart from their peers and made them more vulnerable to those who will hurt them. These pre-teens also learn how to resolve conflicts, make decisions, solve problems, and resist the efforts of peers who want to influence them to do the wrong thing. Parents learn how to provide a positive family environment by incorporating family meetings and family time periods, developing family rituals, providing discipline, and showing their appreciation for positive changes within the family. Volunteers are needed here to assist with transportation, meals, and caring for younger aged siblings of students selected for this program.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
— John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
Children need to know that someone cares about them. You should not be surprised to learn that many families are not what they appear to be. The news is full of horror stories about children being killed, subjected to sexual, emotional and physical abuse if not by a parent, then by a nanny, visitors, or other relatives and trusted associates. Children are being educated about sexual abuse by various organizations, including Lauren’s Kids in Florida. They have provided a curriculum to public schools for teaching children about sexual abuse. This curriculum is prepared with different age levels in mind.
Children should be able to live a life free from bullying and harassment and it is time that we all took a stand against this. Katherine Jenkins
Abused children often suffer from a variety of psychological disorders including, self-esteem, thinking impairment, hyperactivity, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, and much more. Hopefully, these are noted in school behaviors and through their grades, and the children are treated appropriately; however, that does not happen as often as it should. Very often, these problems go unnoticed because students are able to hide these problems, but the effects of these disorders will linger for long periods of time, showing themselves in how the adult gets along with others on the job and in marriage and how the adult raises children.
“When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments — tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.”
— Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist
There are many agencies and institutions in your area that could use your help with children. Google those opportunities. Also, look for orphanages, like Baptist Children’s Homes, who need volunteers. Contact the United Way in your area for additional information on agencies that need volunteers. If you are not physically able to get out and minister to children in some way, then consider a program that involves financial contributions and communications of some sort with a child. Children love books, especially audio books. See what Amazon has to offer. Also, if you decide you want to provide a different type of gift, Amazon has everything to offer.
“Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”
— Fred Rogers, television personality
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