I’m embarrassed to admit that I have never really thought much about volunteering with my children. We donate to charity and gather clothing for different organizations but I have never really come face to face with the concept of hunger and not having enough to eat. Neither have my children. That changed today with a trip to the Ottawa food bank.
In honor of a friend’s birthday, my daughters and some friends got together to help unpack, sort and box donated food at the east-end warehouse. None of us had ever been there before and it was certainly an eye-opening experience.
In a tour of the facility, we learned that, on average, the Ottawa Food Bank helps 45,000 people per month. They have clients of every race, sex, part of the city, and age – including 37 per cent of whom are children. Some of their clients work, while others don’t. Some live alone, others live with families. Some have homes, and some sleep in shelters. We learned that there is no “type” when it comes to hunger.
This experience really made me see the positive impact that volunteering has on kids. I think they actually enjoyed the whole experience. It also opened up a discussion about people who are less fortunate than we are and how hard it is for some to make ends meet, even when they have the best intentions. I think it helped my girls appreciate what they have too. It made us all think about how the whole world is connected and that even one person can make a difference.
The Food Bank couldn’t exist without the support of volunteers and donors, gifts of food and the gift of your time. Please check out their website to learn about the ways you can get involved.
Have you ever thought about volunteering with your children? At what age do you think they are old enough to understand the concept of fortunate and less fortunate?