This is the first year in about five years or so that my kids and I have not volunteered for the Boys & Girls Club of London 12 Days of Christmas program. When I worked at the Club, I encouraged my kids to get involved with me at special events, but always left it up to them to join in. Helping to serve a free hot Christmas dinner to the other kids attending evening programs became a kind of tradition for us. Some nights, the number of children coming to eat and receive a small gift were quite large. As a volunteer you would be moving non-stop to bring plates of food to the table, singing caroles, scooping ice cream and chatting with everyone.
This year, because Gabe was in exams, and the general state of turmoil my life was in at the Orchestra, I did not pursue it. Maybe next year. This photo is of one of our first nights of volunteering. I am proud of the work that the Club does to help children of all economic backgrounds, be children. Sometimes that is very hard to do, especially if you have an empty stomach and a lot of other worries to deal with.
I cannot help but be reminded of the compassion and understanding that can be nurtured by volunteering. I hope that by giving my kids the opportunities to volunteer has helped them to be more compassionate human beings, and that, especially at this time of year, giving can come in many different forms.