Updated: Dec 19, 2018
"Human hands solve human problems" is my favorite Oasis Core Value. I believe the only way to help the world is by actually putting in the hours and getting hands on. This value is one that I want my children to grow up incorporating into their lifestyle.
Houston Oasis organized over 1000 hours of volunteer work in 2017. And we hope that our younger generation of Oasians will start to volunteer when they are old enough.
Since my oldest son became old enough to volunteer at Books between Kids, I’ve tried to take him to every shift Oasis schedules. He absolutely loves volunteering there. I don’t even have to ask him twice to get ready. He is up and ready to go. His favorite part is jumping into these huge boxes to gather books at the bottom to be sorted by the adults. He says to me,
“These books are free to kids who need them, Mama”. It warms my heart to know that my son is helping other children.
The mission of Books between Kids is to build home libraries for Houston children in need, one summer at a time. They help build home libraries for kids who might not have access to books over the summer. During the school year, Books between Kids collects and organizes books into different reading levels and categories. At the end of the year they put on book celebrations at low income schools in Houston ISD. Each student at the school is allowed to pick six books to take home so that they are able to continue reading over the summer. This is such powerful program and it’s amazing to be a part of it.
Another way to get kids involved in volunteering include participating in a shift at the Houston Food Bank. Kid’s as young as 6 can help out. They do things like sort food into boxes, prepare senior boxes, and separate rice. Volunteering at the food bank is always a blast! They turn on music and the shift flies by because you are constantly moving. It’s a great way to get that energy out, especially for young ones who have energy to spare. I can’t wait until my son is old enough to experience a Food Bank shift!
Volunteering is not just for young children but also very important to incorporate into the lives of high school students. It’s very valuable to have a college application full of volunteer hours. It shows that the student has time management skills and is giving back to their community. A great place for older volunteers is Project Cure. Students 15 and older are allowed to participate with sorting medical supplies that are sent to third world countries.
I want my children to grow up knowing that helping others is the right thing to do, and it's a wonderful thing to be part of an organization that gives us opportunities to put this value into practice.