Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gratitude Challenge--Volunteers

Check out others who are participating in the
Gratitude Challenge at Garden of Learning

It is Tuesday evening, and Hubby made it home on time to take Tex to Chess Club at the library. Tex has been participating for about two months now, and really enjoys the once a week, three hour long meetings, where they spend most of their time playing against different people. Sometimes, I take the Three, no, Four Amigos, and they get to do activities in the awesome children's section of our library, but since I have a review due, and a growing migraine, I was glad to let Hubby take Tex, turn on Kid Pix for the kids (where they are designing their own I Spy picture), and polish up my review on Excellence in Literature (loved it!).

So, getting to the thankful part: Today I am thankful for volunteers. I don't want to take them for granted since I have been one who was. It doesn't really make you want to serve less (especially if your service is in the right area) if you remain un-thanked, but something about being noticed and appreciated helps on those days where it's harder to get out the door.

In particular, today I am thinking about the guys who spend every Tuesday night from 5-8 pm, rain or shine, playing chess with a group of (mostly) kids for FREE. They offer advice, experience, and a safe place to do an intelligent activity that might just turn into a challenging and rewarding hobby for a lifetime. Forget the crossword puzzles and sudoku...how's playing chess every week for keeping your brain on its toes?

Tex has gone from losing every game (his first week), to winning many/most of them in just two months. The chess program we got for the computer at our homeschool convention a few years ago is actually getting used now, thanks to the fact that Tex has motivation for learning and practicing those critical thinking skill. He's also learning how to translate what he knows into something he can pass on to other newer members of the club...not to mention the social outlet he's gained.

And all because some nice guys decided they could commit one evening a week to play chess with kids at the library. I am sorry I don't know your names, fellas (I always have the Amigos with me when I am there, and I don't think "mini-mayhem" Boo would mix well with serious chess games), but thank you so very much. Thank you for choosing to make a difference by helping kids (and some adults) grow in their critical thinking skills. Thank you for showing them that there are ways to have fun that don't include risky behaviors. Thank you for making my son feel smart and teaching him to help others feel smart. Thank you for being there.

Thank you to all volunteers out there, whatever you are doing...from the mundane like cleaning your church's bathrooms to the intense like tutoring ESL students. Thank you to everyone who volunteers to coordinate Christmas Child collection efforts and to everyone who picks up even one empty shoe box and returns it completely filled. Volunteers everywhere, I pray that you will continue to be blessed as you are a blessing through your diligent and selfless efforts.

With thanksgiving,

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