Our kids are very aware of the typhoon that hit Visayas islands a few weeks back. Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) has taken thousands of lives and has left many homeless. Although it’s good to thank God that we have not been affected by that deadly catastrophe that hit our country, hubby and I took this opportunity to teach the kids the values of volunteerism.
Sharing with you some valuable things we taught our kids:
1. A volunteer is one who sees the needs.
If you don’t see the need, you won’t be driven to do what you are supposed to do. Looking at the photos of the massive destruction Haiyan has brought was enough to move the kids to first, lift up Tacloban, Samar, Ormoc and Cebu in prayer. Of course, it is not just enough to see the needs. Kids need models, and many times they find it in other kids their age. Our family found inspiration in this 6 year old Japanese boy named Shoichi who gave his piggy bank in order to help the Yolanda victims.
We also found this photo of two LA girls selling lemonades in order to send money to the affected families:
These photos teach kids (and adults as well) what it’s like to see a need, and to be driven to do something about it– starting from any resource available.
2. A volunteer connects with other volunteers.
Although it would feel good to do something on our own, it is still important to teach the kids how important it is to network with people who have the same heart and passion as theirs. Last Thursday, I took the kids to where volunteers were working/ collecting funds to be brought to the affected areas in Visayas. There they saw that volunteers were not ashamed to talk with people, showing them the need and how they could participate in rebuilding ruins by the little that they give.
3. A volunteer is ready anytime.
We don’t have to have another typhoon to show people in what way we have volunteered. Volunteerism happens at any time of the day– it is not to be faked. It could be helping mom with the dishes, or emptying the garbage. It could be helping an elderly person cross the street or being honest enough to return someone’s purse.
Volunteerism, when taught to kids at a young age, is something that they could never outgrow. There is so much need in the world and more than ever before, we need more volunteers! The earlier we train our kids to be proactive in meeting others’ needs, the better place this world would be.