Are We Underestimating
Our Power to Help?

Dorothy Schubert

  
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

I have written many articles about volunteerism, and what YOU can do to help our children and our struggling families. I have listed the alarming statistics, but they mean nothing unless you and I can see them for what they are suffering, pain, and neglect. Unless we are a part of them, or know someone who is, we pay little attention to them.

I have told you how much good it will do for you both physically and mentally, and add to your happiness. I don't know if this has all fallen on deaf ears but I still have to keep on trying.

If we are over 50 years of age we may not have children in school, but many of us do have grandchildren and even great grandchildren who are. Education is such a vital part in our children's lives that we need to keep in touch with those that make decisions our elected officials and other leaders and voice our concerns.

Most of us have more time now and can relieve the work load of our administrators and teachers by doing the often mundane, but still vitally needed tasks. Our teachers need to concentrate on their job of teaching. Quality educations for ALL our children is critical.

We alone cannot do everything that needs to be done to make our children less vulnerable to the whims of governments, the environment, or people who neglect our children and their needs. What we can do is involve ourselves in trying to find solutions that will work. It is not up to your neighbor it is up to YOU.

It takes one person to see the need and start the ball rolling someone to reach out with love and concern. Others will follow once they have been shown what needs to be done. Adding money to our programs is not always the answer (although it certainly helps). What it takes is involvement, knowledge and skills that we all have, and a willingness to share them.

Remember involvement begins at home no matter where you live. What we do here you can do where ever you are. Building a safer, friendlier, and more supportive community anywhere requires committed residents.

Here a just a few things you could do:

TUTORING:  Tutoring for our children and their families can open doors for them that were formally closed.

CHILDCARE:  Good quality child care is a must. According to the Childrens Defense Fund every day 13 million preschoolers and 6 million infants and toddlers are in child care, not all of it good. Good childcare has a lasting impression on a child's well being and ability to learn

* HUNGER:  You can fight against hunger by devoting time to seeing that none of our children are hungry. Hunger inhibits learning.

There are international organizations that are working to make the lives of all children better. The Red Cross and The Salvation Army, The International Order of the Foresters, (a Canadian based fraternal organization) is committed to fighting child abuse. These and many more organizations and agencies need your involvement.

Won't you join those that are helping to "Make a Difference"?  Please make your commitment to your part today.
  


(Editor's note: When she wrote this, Dorothy Schubert was a 79-year-old great-grandmother who lived with her 13-year-old 20-pound cat, Casey, and was the is the mother of 9 children. She wrote a monthly column for Arizona Senior World Newspapers.)

  
   


 
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