What is the more important goal of any kid? Well if you are a kid or have a kid, you can guess the answer right away. It isn’t concerns about having enough to eat, where they will sleep or whether the bomb will be dropped tomorrow. No the worse fate that can befall a kid is summed up in one plea – “What can I do? I’m bored!”
It may seem like an odd suggestion then, to both the kid out there and to the ones charged with battling this dread affliction of “boredom” in the kids on our lives that there is one medicine for boredom that you may not have given a chance. And that is community service.
Now this may be a tough sell because on the surface, community service isn’t a toy or a video game or something designed to entertain kids. It is something so much different from any of those repacked amusements. It’s for real. Lots of computer games are made to give you the feeling you created something whether it’s a city, an alien planet or a spaceship. But when you turn off the computer, that creation is gone because it never was real.
With community service you DO create something and not by talking to a pretend civilization on the computer screen. Oh no, what you create is real, it will be there tomorrow when you go back. And you are dealing with real people and solving real problems. All of a sudden, the kid isn’t so much a kid any more. He or she is a valuable member of the community, just like an adult and there is not better feeling than that!
There are tons of other great reasons to get involved in community service this summer or as a hobby to replace the endless hours playing computer games. There is such a huge variety of things you can get involved with through community service that you can get your hands dirty on a hobby or an interest that you really want to be involved in. And you won’t be just enjoying that great interest by yourself because you will be working side by side with other youths, older kids in college or beyond, young dads and moms and even grandparents all who don’t want to sit home and be bored and would rather be out there being somebody for someone else.
Volunteering can even give you as much variety as playing games or fooling around with toys might give you and you don’t have to beg mom and dad to buy you a thing. In most towns or cities, there is a community service coordinating group that will have dozens and dozens of ways you can plug in and do something for someone else. Some of the great ways you can pitch in and help out might include…
1. Helping stock food that will go out to famine victims or hurricane survivors.
2. Serving meals at the homeless shelter to families who really need the help. In fact, after the meal is over, those homeless kids would like nothing more than to spend a few hours with some new friends enjoying a simple game or just learning about each other.
3. Help the Special Olympics put on one of their athletic outings. If you or your kids love sports, what better way to put that skill to work helping others than letting someone who isn’t as lucky as you know that great feeling of winning a race or sinking a basket.
4. Reading to a shut in or to the blind. You think its great hearing a story? You haven’t had a thrill until you read it to someone else who has never heard it and you see their face as they enjoy every new twist and turn of the plot.
Community service gives young hands a chance to really make a difference to others in the community. But maybe the most important thing it does is it opens kid’s eyes to how great it is to stop worrying about themselves and help someone else out for a little while. It is the kind of addiction your mom and dad will be glad you got into. And chances are you will never again complain, “What can I do? I’m bored!”