Sunday, August 21, 2011

a play group that wasn't and an opportunity that was....

We decided to go to our local park after swim classes the other day. I had posted on a local FB homeschool page we would be going and we were hoping to run into some friends who regularly meet on that day for a play group.

When we got to the park there was no one there from either group but there was an opportunity. The park has an amazing natural playground that was recently made. I have written about it before here.

Soul is behind me but refused to be in this picture

On that day there were two people from our town's recreation department and from the town maintenance doing work spreading fresh wood chips the town was able to purchase recently from a grant they received.

picture taken by Bliss, the park is called Jubilee Park
We immediately went to work helping them shovel and wheel the chips around to spread them out. The area seems small but it deceptively large.

picture taken by Bliss

Bliss jumped right in helping me shovel and even wheeling the wheelbarrows around to dump the chips. Soul even got her shovel from our sandcastle bucket we keep in the back of our car so she could help too. 

picture taken by Bliss
 I told Bliss what a great opportunity this was for us to volunteer and we had a great discussion about that. He said how much more fun it was and how great it felt to be doing this instead of sliding or running around.

self portrait taken by Bliss

Bliss worked tirelessly for an hour and a half alongside myself and the other men, one of whom was using  a tractor which both thrilled and terrified Soul. She kept asking over and over "is it gonna get me?" and we kept saying "it won't get you" nonstop for about an hour.

taken by Soul

 I finished up clearing the chip pile, they still need to order more, but it took me about a half hour more and while I was shoveling and dumping and spreading and sweating I was also thinking. It IS so much more fun than those other things, and so much more important. We do not do volunteer nearly enough and it is something I want to raise my children to care about and do often. So many people we have met here in Canada do so much volunteer work. It is always so impressive and heart warming.

taken by Soul, I LOVE the toes
So I want to find more opportunities for us as a family to volunteer. What do you do to volunteer? What are your experiences with it? How do you feel about it? I really want to know your thoughts and suggestions.


MSEH said...


To answer your questions... I co-chair the Community Action Group on Homelessness - Fredericton and serve on the board of the John Howard Society of Fredericton. I have a fledgling non-profit, the Atlantic Canada Justice Project, focused on wrongful conviction. I'm working with one fellow here and I've done a ton of work on a case in Ohio that you can read about here: I only wish I had time to do more.

As for volunteering with kids, my partner and son have been wanting to volunteer (dog-walking) at the FSPCA, but haven't yet managed to squeeze it in. I'm hoping that when he's older we can do a few service trips. After the trip, below, I collected $3000 in Target cards and we all took a trip to NOLA and Biloxi to deliver them. He was only 5, but saw the devastation first hand - and the recovery efforts.

My all time favorite "volunteer" experience is when I built a course around Katrina and took students to do relief work in Mississippi for a week. The students were amazing! Again, read about it here:

Cheers to you!

bleu said...

We should really do more volunteer work. We do a lot of political action which sometimes pairs up with neighborhood clean-ups etc, but usually it's just rallies or marches. I am bilingual and would love to use that more in my volunteer work.

comment by West Philly Mama but I inadvertently deleted it and cannot figure out how to get it back