Leading By Example

April 27, 2008

Leading By Example
Many of us who are parents, want the best for our children and want them to grow up to be virtuous people. We want them to be confident, responsible, compassionate, grateful, loving, and giving of themselves. Parents have the power to shape the character and behavior of their children, by leading by example. We need to be doing things in our own lives, that reflect the virtues that we want to see in our children. Children are great imitators, and they mirror their parent’s words and actions.

In the spring of 2007, I felt a tug on my heart to focus on teaching my children to be service-minded, by giving of themselves to the less fortunate. I wanted to teach my children to understand that life is about giving, and not getting, and to be grateful for what they have. I wanted to teach my children that even at a young age, they can make a difference in the world. I wanted them to care and engage- to try to do something, even if it is small in light of the overwhelming need. I was not sure where to start, or what we could do as a family with so many different age groups.   I was excited when I discovered a local group, made up of other like-minded parents, who wanted the same for their children; and they were doing something about it! This post was inspired by that group, Generous Generations,
a “network of giving” targeted at driving generosity within the local community, by connecting people with opportunities to give.   

As humanitarians, Humanitarian Army Team members are encouraged to reach out into their local communities and donate time to community service projects. Big or small, one hour, ten hours a month… every action counts. Whether it is group homes, shelters, elderly, environmental, etc., you have the option and privilege to find something completely outside of you each month to give back and experience true and lasting joy and happiness- individually or as a family.  

 
Ways to Get Involved
It is not enough to just know that poverty, and other suffering exists. As God’s family, we are called to do something about it. Here are some practical ways that you can make a difference by bringing a new and better life to the world’s people, starting with yourself, and reaching into your local community and accross the globe.
Get the whole family involved- lead by example!

 

Individually
Ideas for ways to get involved in speaking up for, and reaching out to those in need.

  • Educate yourself-arm yourself with the arsenal of relevant information and statistics you need to speak knowledgeably about children in poverty.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, make your voice heard and educate your community about the needs of children in poverty.
  • Create a tutoring partnership with a local school.
  • Host free ESL classes for English learners in your community.
  • Provide free musical instruments and lessons for low-income families.
  • Get involved with helping underdeveloped areas around the world, by choosing and sponsoring a project, from the Trivani Foundation.

 

At Home
Family night ideas, and children’s activities to equip your whole family in the fight for children in poverty, and others in need.

  • Host a neighborhood walk-a-thon or 5K run to raise awareness and funds for the Trivani Foundation, or other important cause.
  • Fix up old bikes and distribute them to needy children in your community.
  • Host a Cultural Night.
  • Try some Seasonal Ideas.
  • Did you know that 2.7 billion people in the world live on less than two dollars a day, and one billion of those live on less than half that? Have your family take the $2 Dollar Dinner Challenge.
  • Conduct a service project for an elderly individual or family in your community, such as raking leaves or shoveling snow.
  • Host a Pajama Party Event, and convert your next sleep-over into a generous night. The Pajama Program focuses on delivering warm sleepwear and nurturing books to children in need.
  • Make Breakfast Bags, by pulling together some nutritious staple items for elderly shut-ins. Place items such as tea bags, oatmeal packets, mini boxes of cereal, and a homemade card in each bag.
  • Host a free car wash, with donations going to the Trivani Foundation, or other needy charity.
  • Hold an Alex’s Lemonade Stand this summer, and make a donation to fund pediatric cancer research. 

 

In Your Church
Ideas for ways get your church involved in ministry to others in need.

  • Start a prayer group.
  • Have a speaker come, and speak on the subject of poverty.
  • Start a cause-oriented small group.
  • Get your youth involved in a group.
  • Encourage your pastor to take on the cause of children.
  • Create Caregiver Kits for developing countries, equipping volunteers who are caring for those living with AIDS. Visit World Vision to learn how.
  • Organize a collection of  new coloring books and boxes of 24+ crayons, and send to St. Jude with a note stating you are sending your gift as part of the “Colors Decorate the World” Tribute for Sami’s birthday.

 

On Your Campus
Ideas to get your friends and classmates involved in the community.

  • Conduct a letter writing campaign to create awareness about an important social issue.
  •  Mentor children in your community. Connect with a mentoring program in your community (or create your own) and develop relationships with youth in the community that would benefit from a positive role model. Participate in academic, cultural and recreational activities and encourage positive behaviors and choices in their lives.
  • Start a career-mentoring program for youth in your community.

 

In Your Community
Ideas to help you reach out in your local community.

  • Contact your local shelter and volunteer to serve the homeless in your area.
  • Host a quilting or knitting group, and donate items to a needy cause.
  • Volunteer with a local food bank.
  • Take disadvantaged children on a community field trip.
  • Join with your community in assembling disaster relief kits.
  • Create and distribute hospital care packages to patients.
  • Create school tool kits for needy children.
  • Spend part of this Summer digging a garden at a children’s shelter.

 

Globally
Join an overseas trip, and share your heart for children in need.

  • Provide care kits for U.S. soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Voluntourism -make your next vacation one with a purpose- volunteer! Volunteer vacationers assist with humanitarian and disaster relief efforts, care for AIDS patients, feed the hungry in remote villages or save endangered species. But not all volunteer programs involve life-and-death matters; travelers can teach English, care for orphaned and disabled children, tend animals, maintain hiking trails and do other conservation work, assist with scientific and environmental research or participate in archeological expeditions.
  • Join Trivani and sponsor a child – you will provide help such as, constructing schools for children, providing medical facilities for surgeries and general health care, building orphanages, constructing clean water facilities, and distributing much-needed mosquito nets. This sponsorship program allows Trivani Guardians (child sponsors) to get acquainted with a specific child-not a statistic but an individual with a name and a face-and to help feed, clothe, medicate, and educate their child according to his or her needs. Guardians will be able to see how their money is spent to help the child, and can watch as the child grows and learns over the years. This personal connection brings a whole new meaning to each Child Guardian.
Advertisements

One Response to “Leading By Example”

  1. Nice blog…Thank you very much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: