FAMILY Volunteer Story:
The Ortiz Family
"Volunteering together as a family is so important to me because not only does it give us extra quality time to bond together; our children can see us adults not just pushing volunteer work on them, but also leading by example. I believe kids will follow more as they see us do and not just as we say," says mom. "It's a fun way that we can share new experiences together while helping others."
Some of the family's favorite volunteer projects have been the park cleanups and using the litter grabbers. "We ended up finding some interesting items all around the park. By the time it was over, my boys were wishing there was more trash!" The Ortiz Family has also enjoyed the wheelchair empathy experience. "Not only did we get to have fun being competitive and playing sports; we had the chance to learn what it was like to be in a wheelchair and how to be respectful, courteous and kind to those who are physically different than us."
Volunteering together has encouraged more discussions about topics that the family wouldn't otherwise have discussed. "My kids have been more open to ask questions they wouldn't have thought to ask and talk about."
Through volunteering, the family says they have learned more about each other. "We now talk about times we've felt people weren't being kind to us and how we wouldn't want to intentionally ever make people feel that way. It definitely has made us more conscientious and mindful of practicing kindness in our everyday lives," says mom.
"I am really hoping to make them aware that the world is so much bigger than them. I want them to know that even at their young age that this is their community and they can help to make it a better place, even in the smallest and simplest of ways."