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Everyday Adventures that “Save the World”

March 26th, 2009 by bsmith | Filed under At Home Adventures.

Just dropped off our “Will Play for Food” donation with the little ones this morning and was reminded how service to others can offer rich opportunities for family adventure.  Destiny and Jared were so proud to bring their cans into the the soup kitchen.  The Brother Benno staff was amazing.  They were very patient as we unloaded our car and personally thanked my little ones before they left.  Jared decided to make this errand decked out as a cowboy, so that drew lots of smiles.

Growing up our family didn’t take many opportunities to exercise, but many years starting when I was in middle school we would participate in the Human Race Walk which was a fundraiser for the United Way and local agencies.  I remember one year, the walk traveled from the top of Mount Tamalpais in Mill Valley down to it’s base.  We got lost, which made it even more of an adventure.  I’ll never forget hiking among the redwood trees with my parents and how sore my calves were at the end of that hike.  I felt so empowered to choose the charity that would receive the money that I had raised.

Back in the good old days when I only had one kid to wrangle, Justin would accompany us to serve the Handicapables lunch to disabled people in Marin.  There is something magical about a small child volunteering.  It brings joy to everyone around him or her.  Justin brightened alot of faces even though all he did was set some tables.

With three, we do less hands on volunteering, but we still find opportunities for service and family fun.  Scouting provides opportunities to clean up the beach and organize cans for an annual food drive.  Even though it would be easier to leave the preschoolers at home, we bring them.  Their attention span is shorter than our nine year old, but while they have the energy they make an enthusiastic contribution.  In addition to “Will Play for Food” our family organized an emergency food drive for a food pantry by soliciting contributions from the other preschool families.  We netted a great assortment of non persihable food and my kids loved delivering it.

Finally, in order to reduce our family carbon footprint, we walk to school to pick up big brother once a week.  Destiny calls it “saving the world”.  Now when she sees other families walking to school she says, “Look mom, they’re saving the world.”  Mostly I drive the morning carpool, and I do not have the organizational capabilities to get everyone out the door early enough in the morning to walk.  Still, I’m going to be on the look out for other walking opportunities.  I find that it has many other benefits: the dog gets walked, my nine year old has a lot to talk about, and the little guys get a lesson in patience as well as some exercise.

What are some service projects that your family does to “save the world”?

Happy Trails,


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