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Our daughter is very compassionate. In fact, she might think about the problems others have to a fault. When I was her age, I was worried about people hurting my family and nuclear war, so I understand...kind of. I never had the passion she has for legitimately wanting to make life better for other people. Lisa says that Helena wants to be more like Jesus, helping those who are sick or hungry. While I can appreciate her desire to help the poor, tired, and huddled masses, it’s not easy finding a way for her to help. This is partially because of her age, but it’s also because Lisa and I (and certainly Helena) have a standard for what helping others really entails. We want to know how to spend time usefully.

We tried with the easier way of allowing her to feel like she was helping others, taking her to visit elderly church members. The problem is that when you take your little girl to brighten up a man’s day at the hospice, and then a few months later she’s singing for the family at his funeral, it’s not the kind of thing you want to have to do several times a year. Both kids did great, and we were so proud, but I can’t help but feel it would be difficult on them emotionally to continue that kind of service. The other one we did was have them perform at Luther Manor. Again, they were wonderful, but, again, I think Helena wanted to help people get back on their feet in some way, not just entertain those who have lost the ability to walk on their own. And maybe it’s just the desire to try a new angle that she wants. Our two other shut-in visits were quite boring for the kids, but they did their jobs of being cute and making an elderly person smile. She seems to be ready for her next job, but we’re kind of lost searching for it.

Most websites I found when searching for “volunteering for kids” or something similar were guides for adults who wanted to volunteer. Some sites had options for kids 13+ to volunteer, but there was very little for the very little ones. Therefore, Lisa and I had to try to figure it out for ourselves a bit. We wanted to come up with something Helena could do that she was passionate about and would allow her to participate. Here’s our train of thought.