This past weekend we helped my parents move a good portion of my brother’s workshop to their new parsonage. On Sunday, we went to one of my dad’s last church services in the area they currently live in. There was a guest speaker who spoke about missions (MERCI in NC), and prayers sent up for those impacted by this spring’s storms. Following service, they had a dinner to honor our family for the time there on the charge. It was a good time spent with family, but the whole weekend got me thinking about service.
Growing up, I have always been one to serve and do my part to give back to the community. I don’t want to brag, but I really hope my kids can say they’ve done a good chunk of service by the time they have kids, so I am going to share some of my past “causes”.
In elementary school, I was active in the Girl Scouts, Campfire Kids, and Buckeye Y. I spearheaded an adopted grandparent program for the elementary kids in my church, worked on community service projects, and participated in walks for this or that mission.
In Junior High, I was involved in Students Who Care (an organization that helped the food banks and also had an adopted grandparent program). My homeroom raised so much money during a food drive that my dad bought a van full of cases of Ramen noodles to deliver to the food bank. With my family, I was very involved in our church’s food bank and vacation bible school programs.
In High School, I was involved in several student groups that had community service projects. Our youth group did amazing work for Relay for Life (and Wendy), our local church, and the community. I served on a district and conference wide youth mission team, worked annual conference as a page and delegate, and helped with registration. I honestly don’t know how I had time to breathe as a teen. That’s how I stayed out of trouble, I guess.
In College, we had a huge focus on community service. Zoo Boo, Ronald McDonald House, painting a school, a women’s shelter, Race for the Cure, Book drives, you name it, I probably did it. My senior year I had the pleasure to be a captain of a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night walk team in honor of my cousin, Aaron. Many of my most favorite Chatham memories came from my time serving others.
Post college, I haven’t been as busy as I have liked, but I want to get back to it. Sure, there’s been the little things here and there (like United Way’s Day of Caring through work, church community Thanksgiving dinners, volunteering at Chatham for various events, VBS, PodCamp Pittsburgh, etc). But as a parent who is “oh so busy”, I often find myself just sending money and not time. So many organizations need our time! A few weeks back, Mr. Burgher and I went to volunteer at Schoolhouse for Teachers. We cleaned for a few hours, vowed to do more work at other local orgs, and haven’t gotten back into the swing of things. I think it’s time.
We’ve donated formula to “My Choices” and plan on making a donation to “On the Spot” and orgs taking supplies to tornado ravaged areas (we just need to do the drop!). Mr. Burgher will be taking some time to volunteer at the local food bank (and donate a ton of pasta we couponed for). If you remember, Mrs. ‘Ski and I were teaming up for Operation Every Cent Counts . We need to send out that first shipment (a few days late), so watch for an update there. I am getting more familiar with Pittsburgh opportunities through http://www.pittsburghcares.org and hope to invite you to join us on some service projects.
How do you give back to your community? Are you interested in giving back with us? Are you actively involved in a project and need our help? Comment below (we love to hear from you)!