Nov 13

Community Service Through Everyday Compassion

Welcome to the November 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Service Projects

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about what service means in their families.


Helping handWhen we think of community service, we tend to think of working with organizations: food pantries, animal rescues, recycling centers, or other such systems set up for the purpose of helping the community. Those are great ways to help our communities, but they are definitely not the only ways.

Every day, we are given opportunities, small ways of helping out others, if we only recognize them and make the decision to help. Helping out in our communities doesn’t need to be pre-planned. It doesn’t have to be huge. It can be done at any time, by anyone who cares to look around.

While our family has participated in many larger scale community service projects, I think it’s the compassion we show everyday which makes the biggest impact on our children. Handing out food once a year may help people on that day, but our community has needs all year round, and our children are watching all of the time.

When we take food to a sick friend or someone who has just experienced a life changing event, we are helping out. When we hold the door open for someone we don’t know or pick up trash while out hiking, we are helping the community. Organizing homeschool co-ops and field trips or helping out at the local school provides a service. Reading to those who can’t or really seeing a person as a person can make a great difference.

Community service doesn’t have to be some big event. It can be the small things. It can be done every day, and it starts with the compassion we shows others at home or out. When we treat others respectfully and help out whenever we can, not only are we making a difference, but we are raising a generation of people who will in turn treat others respectfully and help out wherever they can.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon November 13 with all the carnival links.)

  • Acts of Service: The Great Neighborhood Clean Up — Sarah at Firmly Planted shares how her daughter’s irritation with litter led to weekly cleanups.
  • Running for Charity — Find out how Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction uses her love of running and a great new app to help feed the hungry.
  • 50 Family Friendly Community Service Project Ideas — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares a list of 50 family-friendly community service project ideas that are easy to incorporate to your daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonal rhythmn.
  • Volunteering with a Child — Volunteer work does not need to be put on hold while we raise our children. Jenn of Monkey Butt Junction discusses some creative options for volunteering with a child at Natural Parents Network.
  • Family Service Project: Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina — Erika at Cinco de Mommy volunteers with her children at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, where 29% of the recipients are children.
  • Family Service Learning: Advent Calendar — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school offers her family’s approach to some holiday-related community service by sharing their community focused Advent Calendar. She includes so tips and suggestions for making your own in time for this year’s holidays.
  • How to make street crossing flags as a family service project — Lauren at Hobo Mama offers a tutorial for an easy and relatively kid-friendly project that will engage young pedestrians.
  • Pieces of the Puzzle — Because of an experience Laura from Pug in the Kitchen had as a child, she’s excited to show her children how they can reach out to others and be a blessing.
  • Appalachian Bear Rescue — Erica at ChildOrganics shares how saving pennies, acorns and hickory nuts go a long way in helping rescue orphaned and injured black bears.
  • Volunteering to Burnout and Back — Jorje of Momma Jorje has volunteered to the point of burnout and back again… but how to involve little ones in giving back?
  • How to Help Your Kids Develop Compassion through Service Projects — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares service projects her family has done along with links to lots of resources for service projects you can do with your children.
  • Involving Young Children in Service — Leanna at All Done Monkey, the mother of a toddler, reflects on how to make service a joyful experience for young children.
  • A Letter to My Mama — Dionna at Code Name: Mama has dedicated her life to service, just like her own mama. Today Dionna is thanking her mother for so richly blessing her.
  • 5 Ways to Serve Others When You Have Small Children — It can be tough to volunteer with young children. Jennifer at Our Muddy Boots shares how her family looks for opportunities to serve in every day life.
  • When Giving It Away Is Too Hard for Mommy — Jade at Looking Through Jade Glass But Dimly lets her children choose the charity for the family but struggles when her children’s generosity extends to giving away treasured keepsakes.
  • Community Service Through Everyday Compassion — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children calls us to Community Service Through Everyday Compassion; sometimes it is the small things we can do everyday that make the greater impacts.
  • School Bags and Glad RagsAlt Family are trying to spread a little love this Christmas time by involving the kids in a bit of charity giving.
  • Children in (Volunteering) Service — Luschka at Diary of a First Child reminisces on her own experiences of volunteering as a child, reflects on what she thinks volunteering teaches children and how she hopes voluntary service will impact on her own children.


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  1. Heidi

    Thank you for reminding me to practice what I preach!

  2. Lauren @ Hobo Mama

    Ah, you’re wiser than I am! My son has had to teach me this lesson, repeatedly. He’s always happy to pick up litter to make the sidewalks cleaner for everyone, even though my first reaction is to be grossed out, ha ha. But more so, to think that it’s not our job, but of course it is. We’re all part of this community, and being kind is paramount. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Dionna Ford

    I’d argue that the every day things are even more important than the big once a year opportunities! It is the every day habits of kindness that make the biggest impression. Thank you for the reminder!

  4. DiaryofaFirstChild (@LvanO)

    You are so right! Children are amazing for what they absorb and observe. I also don’t believe you can really raise your children to be something you’re not.

  5. ctrlaltparent

    Someone inspiring once said to me “small is beautiful” and in this case, he was definitely right. Thanks for reminding me to look close to home as well as at the bigger picture.

  6. Our Muddy Boots

    I agree. I think it is so important for us to practice compassion and service in everyday life. Beautifully said: “we are raising a generation of people who will in turn treat others respectfully and help out wherever they can.

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