As parents, I think we inherently raise our children with the belief that they are good people at their core. How can we not? They are born innocent. And we want them to grow up to be loving, decent, and productive citizens of the world. As a mom, I try every day to model kindness and empathy. Because in today’s day and age, KINDNESS MATTERS! And one of the ways that I’ve recently tried to instill this is through volunteering as a family.
Boca Raton is a charitable city. We basically have an entire social season built around raising money for worthy causes! So what better place to start teaching the value of service to my child than her own hometown?
We recently attended a community day at BRIC for Child Rescue Coalition. If you’re not familiar with the organization, it’s equal parts impressive and terrifying. Child Rescue Coalition is a non-profit that rescues children from sexual abuse by building technology for law enforcement, free of charge, to track, arrest and prosecute child predators. See what I mean?
The event was dubbed “Blankets and Bear Hugs” and allowed local families to assemble care packages for children rescued from child predators. These kids typically receive the care packages inside the police vehicle and it helps them to identify who the good (vs. the bad) guys are. It can certainly be confusing as a victim. Each backpack contained a coloring book, crayons, plush toy (bear or otherwise) and a no sew blanket that volunteers were asked to craft together.
Because of the subject matter, Child Rescue Coalition made every effort to ensure the event was age appropriate. They easily explained to my 6 year-old that not all grown-ups are nice to kids and sometimes they need help from a police officer or sheriff. My daughter understood clearly and took her bag-stuffing mission to heart. She helped me cut, knot and create blankets for several girls and boys in need and chose each stuffed animal with care to accompany her cozy creation.
I have never been prouder. The event truly fed my soul.
If you’re interested in volunteering for Child Rescue Coalition, you can keep an eye on their events page on their website here. Otherwise, there are so many ways to get your children involved with service projects in Boca Raton. From beach cleanups to food drives to your local race or walk for a cure, volunteering really does teach our kids that their world, their community is so much bigger than they are. I can’t think of a more valuable lesson than that.