Quite a few people have asked us how we manage to volunteer with two small children in tow.
The answer? We're still learning that ourselves.
That said, our answer so far is that...we just DO.
Today, we spent two and a half hours at the Family Life Center in New Braunfels, Texas. It's an organization that connects temporarily under-resourced and/or unemployed residents of the community to churches, charities, and agencies in the area. They also have an on-site food pantry and clothes closet.
We inventoried and sorted clothing into boxes - men's, women's, kids, and linens. At first, the girls handed us clothes and our 4-year-old helped label the boxes with a marker. After a little while, they lost interest in the task and sorted through the donated books. They also chased each other around the courtyard.
In fact, about an hour into the project, our almost-2-year-old lost her shoe down the gutter outside. A service guy on the premises came around w/ a forklift and Tim crawled down into the sewer to get it. Never a dull moment around here.
We made quite a bit of headway in the room - organize, tape up boxes, repeat. When we first got started, our 4-year-old said, "This isn't very fun." We ended up having a good talk about how giving isn't always fun or glamorous or sophisticated. It often looks more like beat-up tennis shoes than it does sparkly high heels.
P.S. When you donate clothing to your nearest goodwill or center, please do try to give unstained, freshly laundered items. I promise the poor do not want your mismatched socks, poopy underwear, and heavily soiled garments. And all of the volunteers across America say? AMEN.
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