Community Service Builds Self-Esteem
Local Students and Organizations—Champions of Giving
April 01, 2010
"In giving, we receive." "It's better to give than to receive." You've heard both before, but I would like to extol organizations that have programs that encourage children and families to give back to their communities.
Last weekend, I watched parishioners at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church knit with love over 100 hand-made dolls. They were dressed with bright Caribbean fashions, blessed and the sent to children in Haiti.
The Park Tudor Boys Tennis Team promoted a "Hit for Haiti" day at Five Seasons and sent $3,000 to the Red Cross to help. During the month of March, many High School Tennis Teams volunteered to clean the parks grounds where tennis courts are located. The Indianapolis Community Tennis Association, in conjunction with Indy Parks, is promoting the effort.
On April 17, over 40,000 Indianapolis men, women and children will participate and support the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to fight breast cancer. Participants are encouraged to do as much as they can financially to insure the success of the event. In fact, members of our family will be there as a part of the "Kathy's Wynners" team. One of the great features of "Race for the Cure" is that, in addition to the run, there is a one-mile walk for participants who want to be part of the project at a level more appropriate for young children and seniors.
A new organization in Zionsville is organizing a weeklong camp to specifically focus on community service. Camp Caring Hands will meet July 5-9 at both Lions Park and the Boys and Girls Club of Zionsville. Campers will be divided into three groups: Four and under with a parent attending from 9 a.m.-12 a.m. for $8.50 a day. Ages 5-9 and 10-14 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Cost is $85 per week and scholarships are available. Campers will bring their own lunch and healthy snacks are provided. The board of directors of Kids Care Club is busy identifying projects and learning opportunities that can benefit Caring Hands campers. Their objectives are to have children involved in Community Clean-up and Beautification, Animal Protection, Senior Giving, Hunger Relief and Kids Caring for Kids.
The founders of the Camp Caring Hands have been guided by Points of Light Institute and have received community-wide support from numerous Indianapolis organizations. Congratulations to Debbie Forbeck, project chairman and Zionsville Kids Care Club Facilitator, as well as her board, for bringing a new concept in camping to the greater Indianapolis area. Thanks to Whitney Witsken for enthusiastically sharing news of this new camp with me. Registration forms will be available at the Boys and Girls Club of Zionsville after April 5.
On March 2, the Celebrate Indianapolis luncheon was held at the Murat to name the 2010 winner of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service and sponsored by the Indianapolis Star for over 30 years.
Sam Beard founded the Institute for Public Service in 1972 and throughout the years thousands of individuals have been recognized for making a difference in their communities.
It was announced at this luncheon that the Lilly Endowment would work with IPS and the Institute of Public Service to establish volunteer coordinators in all the IPS High Schools. This new program has a ten-year funding window to promote volunteerism and community service with our local teenage students. I commend Lilly Endowment for recognizing that our teenage students need to be encouraged to grow in public service within their schools and neighborhoods.
There are many examples of community service by students and youth organizations and Indy's Child would like to feature highlights about their accomplishments as champions of community service. Please send your letters and photos to email@example.com and tell us about the wonderful things that students and organizations in your area are doing for others.
Keep giving and have a wonderful April!
Barbara Wynne is the founding publisher of Indy's Child Magazine.