One summer Katie volunteered with me at Orono Community Garden.
Sometimes she brought her best friend. Oh, my, didn't our senior
citizens perk up in the company of lively, gregarious teens! Talk
about quality time all around!
Whether marching for peace in Washington DC or cleaning the
river near our home, some of my best family times have involved
volunteering. I was delighted to discover Jenny Friedman's The Busy
Family's Guide to Volunteering. At a time when so many forces push
toward isolation and rampant consumerism, it's good to see that there
are ways families can counter these threats by caring together for the
earth and its inhabitants.
This is an amazingly rich guidebook. Volunteer opportunities
are divided into categories: people to people ties, healing the
earth, fighting poverty, building community, social action, and
volunteer vacations. Locales range from one's own neighborhood to
third world countries. Time commitments can be anything from one shot
events to years. Great advice is given on locating the perfect fit
for your own unique family.
Let's say your clan is good with pets. You have the space and
motivation to train a companion animal for someone with a disability.
You look in the chapter on healing the earth under support the rights
of animals. Contact information for two organizations is listed. A
resource list at the end of the chapter contains books, websites, and
contact information for other groups.
Whether you're parenting toddlers, teens, or any age in between,
if you want to nurture children who really care and have fun doing so,
The Busy Family's Guide to Volunteering is an investment guaranteed to
On a personal note, the 2012 Orono Community Garden season ended
well. We danced around the raindrops, as our beloved leader, John, is
fond of saying, and delivered huge bags of veggies.
A great big shout out goes out to everyone who contributed to the
success of our beloved garden.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod