Service

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Somewhere between his requests for more coffee & his reminding me to check the air in my tires, my dad always manages to slip in a pearl of wisdom or two during our weekly breakfast date

This morning, he rustled his paper and cleared his throat the way he always does before launching into fatherly advice…and he began reading aloud from an article on one community’s upcoming day of service, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. Halfway through he pauses,

“You remember what I always used to tell you girls as you were growing up? I’d say, ‘Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.”

yes dad. I remember.

“I’d tell you that because you three would sometimes get these ideas in your head that the world’s problems were just to massive to tackle. It’d overwhelm you. But if everyone were to focus on one small way in which they can impact their communities, we could all do more than we ever realized possible….Is there anymore coffee?”

yes dad.

As I  got up to refill his cup, I thought about the various times throughout my life that I saw my family LIVE this advice. Through volunteering. Through mentoring. Through service.

It’s infectious. It’s a way of life.

And it’s importance was brought home once again this week during my attendance at the CCRWF’s Women’s Policy Summit in which 70 young women from throughout California were given an introduction to policy & advocacy. One of the speakers said simply, “Mentoring should be like breathing. Not an option…each one, teach one.”

For several years now I’ve considered getting involved in a young parent mentoring program. The opportunity has just been presented to me, though it would require significant organization & leadership on my part (more than I had originally intended on taking on), and the need for dedicated volunteers to make it successful. It’ll also require funds.

I’m not sure what my next move will be, but in the meantime I’m researching grants and putting the word out for dedicated and willing volunteers.

It’ll take more than a vision. It’s going to take thorough planning, constant maintenance, and a clear purpose.

But if it gives even one young family a place of support,

non-judgement,

and hope….

Would it not be worth a shot?

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