It’s just twenty minutes… and yet those minutes combine — sending off ripples that account for lifetimes. Can twenty minutes make a life? One mentor shares a story that answers that question with a truthful, “YES!” Maybe even more than one life.
Like many other Care for Kids mentors, I spend a mere 20 minutes each week with a sweet second grader, Miss H.—reading or eating lunch with her. It is a time I look forward to and I can only hope that she does as well.
The research and writing I do for nonprofits has opened my eyes to the disparities many children face around the world and within our own communities. Access to quality education is essential and beyond that—it’s so important for children to see adults (other than family) who are willing to spend time with them. I guess I like to think we are helping kids see that it’s cool to volunteer and support each other, and it’s cool to keep learning by reading and exploring new things.
The Care for Kids program offers kiddos who need a little extra attention a chance to have one person focus on them … even for a short amount of time. As volunteers, we recognize that some kids face significant challenges and while we are limited by how much we can do, it is a daily reminder of participating in something bigger than ourselves.
I believe it is our responsibility to show that we care about them—not just what they can accomplish—but truly care about the day-to-day issues in their lives.
There is a great song by Matt Maher Hold Us Together that reminds me of the significance of each of our lives—and the role we can play in bringing significance to others:
… and love will hold us together
Make us a shelter to weather the storm
And I’ll be my brother’s keeper
So the whole world will know that we’re not alone
For me, volunteering is a way to give back to a community I love … one that makes me feel that I’m never alone.