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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Soapbox: Patch Adams' Big Ten..volunteer

For the last several Wednesdays I've been tackling the ten challenges set forth by Dr. Patch Adams to change society. Today is just one of the challenges I have to admit I have been avoiding. It is number 8 on Dr. Patch's list:

Could you do ten or more volunteer hours each week to make a healthier world?

Wow!  I admit I can't even imagine finding ten hours each week.  Do I think it could transform the world for the better.. absolutely.  But how?  Some days it seems all I can do to find clean clothes for everyone and be sure there is milk and toilet paper in the house. Where would I find time to volunteer much less ten hours?  

I think that for most people with jobs or families, ten hours is probably unrealistic and just makes people skip it all together.  So, I decided to stop getting stuck on the number ten and just think in terms of sneaking snippets of volunteering into my life.I started talking out loud to the kids using the word volunteering. I started labeling the work I do in the church and for the school. I want the children to grow up with a sense of responsibility to be involved in the community, to volunteer their skills and their time.   

I have the kids shovel out the nearby fire hydrants and help me stop in to check on some older folks I know. I find ways for them to pitch in at church to welcome kids, to help set up the snacks, even to help in Sunday School classes for younger kids. I usually did, but now it is more purposeful as my daughters would say. 

So, Dr. Patch... I don't think I will make it to your standard goal on this one, at least not for a while, but I am glad to be challenged by it.  

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