by Stacy Winstryg

Last month, I had the pleasure of speaking to Cub Scout Pack 716 about the importance of activism within your community. While speaking to this group of 10-year-old boys, I asked them why it was important to volunteer in their community.  My favorite response was from one of the boys when he said, “It gets things done!” So simple yet so true! Communities only function effectively when we all do our part. Another purpose of community involvement mentioned by Bryson Fuller was that it “Keeps order in our communities.”

From left to right: Stacy Winstryg, Linda Feltheim, MaRico Tippett,
Catherine Byars, Andrea Black

I loved the simplicity of these boys’ answers! As we talked, I told them that volunteering and getting involved didn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as serving somewhere for an hour or helping your neighbor. They brainstormed amongst themselves and came up with great ways for kids to get involved in their communities.  They mentioned things like holding a food drive, clean their neighborhoods and raising money for a charity. I also asked them who had inspired them to be a better community member and they unanimously stated it was their parents! These kids are watching us and looking to us for examples on how to be better citizens and community members.

Getting involved is simple. Here are some starting points to think about when helping children become excited about community service:

*Keep it simple. You don’t have to spend hours to make a difference.

*Find something you are passionate about. Volunteering doesn’t feel like work when it involves something that interest you.

*Participate with a friend! Service is always more fun when you do it with friends or family.

*Be creative. If you can’t find an event, create one like a lemonade stand to raise money for a cause.

Children are the future. Now is the time to teach them the importance of serving others and getting involved. Look for areas to serve together as a family. I promise you will have fun and your community will be grateful!

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