Have you ever volunteered? Have you ever exposed your children to volunteerism? Do your children understand how other families might not be as fortunate as yours?

After working primarily with high-performing families across the globe, we found most of these children have no idea what it’s like to not come home to a stocked fridge and pantry. These children don’t know what it’s like to not have the latest iPad or video game. They don’t know what it’s like to not be able to go on the school field trips.

Growing up I was very fortunate and able to spend more of my time at the golf course and travel to foreign countries with my family. This taught me a lot about life and experiencing different ways of living. One of the best things my parents did was gently encourage — okay maybe force me — into a club in high school, which focused on volunteerism.

I did it mostly to ensure I got into the best colleges and to meet girls. It’s amazing what motivated me at 15. This group was called Student Leadership Council. It met every month before school and help multiple events over the year where students could volunteer. I vividly remember one of the first events where we put on an event for some of the less fortunate families in the town to come trick-or-treat out of the trunks of cars in the school parking lot.

This taught me that not everyone is as fortunate as my family.

 

It (volunteering) ingrained the warm positive feels derived from helping others and allowed me to get outside of being so self-centered and to focus on the well-being of others.

 

This passion — which started in high school as a way to get into a great college — has continued on and been a major focal point for my life over a decade after graduation. (I later dropped out of college because of addiction, which is a totally different story.)

I credit volunteerism with helping to maintain and give me purpose after a battle with addiction. After I got out of a 90-inpatient drug treatment facility I started volunteering one day a week at a horse therapy program. This program focused on helping learning challenge children ride horses.

It was one day a week where for four hours I had to put my own issues aside and focus on helping others. The skills and confidence from volunteerism will surely change every child.

During the holiday season, there are so many families who are struggling. There are also so many non-profits which serve these families that need additonal help and resources.

Make some time this holiday season to volunteer with a local nonprofit.

Today my business is based on helping others and had I not started volunteering at a young age I might have gone down a completely different path.

You never know how volunteering with impact your child’s life. For a list of some places visit please visit here.

Please comment or send me a message of how it goes and the way it makes you and your family feel.

By Rich Legacy