A Gift of the Heart...
So, “What is this?” You may ask. It is about the character - building benefits of a giving heart, the soul... if you will, of Pazazz.... service that uplifts..ideas that inspire.
Heart is dedicated to presenting Service Learning projects for our kids and family too. It is our long experience with such ideas that has been so informing and powerful.
But first.. some quick definitions…
Community service – Volunteer work intended to help people in a particular area. Think beach clean-up; canned food donations to help the under privileged; helping to build homes through the efforts of Habitat for Humanity.
Service Learning - Extended community service which provides a more quality experience. Here our kids are tackling a real life issue, planning; acting, reflecting and sharing. What super preparation for life! Presenting such opportunities for kids and families together provides huge rewards and is such a fun way to grow so many qualities we diligently strive to nurture in our kids.
A student and teacher have highest praise for Service Learning endeavors...
From Taite, a student in Beverly Hills High School's CSL Elective....
After spending many months collaborating with fellow students to plan a project involving the whole school, the annual Christmas party for Beverly’s sister school in South Los Angeles, Taite commented, “Service Learning has helped me grow so much as a person and step out of my comfort zone. Before this class, I was extremely shy and hated public speaking, but now I am much more comfortable speaking to others and opening up to people. I have learned so many life lessons that have truly changed my life for the better.”
And from a Beverly Hills teacher...
“I have been teaching in our schools for over 16 years and some of my fondest memories have come from being a CSL Coordinator at one of our elementary schools. It has been very rewarding to guide children towards making a positive difference in our world. In general, children are very caring. Once they realize they have the power to help others less fortunate, it’s amazing what they will do to support complete stranger, whether it’s learning about tolerance through the eyes of an autistic child or organizing a clothing drive. Service Learning empowers children while helping others in need. It’s a winning combination!”
It is our hope that you might try instituting some of these ideas in your children’s school, or guide your children at home to do the same. These ideas are great fun for a family outing, as Patti has done at Christmas with her family for over 20 years. The payoffs are big and the effort needn’t be a lot. Please try to give the kids as much responsibility as possible. They will love that you trust them and they will learn so much! In addition, it absolutely lightens your load.
Please feel free to forward YOUR ideas of caring and sharing so we might celebrate along with you.
Meet Riley... a little person with a BIG idea
Rain Project http://raincommunities.org/ Camarillo, CA
The Kingdom Center - Gabriel's House http://tkcoxnard.org/ Oxnard, CA
Coalition for Family Harmony http://thecoalition.org/ Oxnard, CA
The City Center http://thecitycenter.org/ Ventura, CA
Samaritan Center http://thesamaritancenterofsimivalley.org/ Simi Valley, CA
Organizations we love...
One Voice began in 1982 as an outgrowth of a sociology class taught by the founder, Dr. Susan Silbert, at California State University, Northridge. After the class (five of whom are current board members) turned their final projects into a holiday food drive for 70 needy families. (Today their Holiday Food Program serves 2500 families, 12,500 people.)
Their desire to keep helping others was ignited, and thirty years later One Voice offers an array of programs designed to ease the suffering of low-income families in Los Angeles.
Should you live in the Los Angeles vicinity, One Voice will joyously come to your home and pick up any and all gently used items, big and small, and then carefully portion them out to eagerly awaiting and enormously appreciative families. They also provide a receipt of goods for tax purposes. As Kathy Jackson says, “Even paper plates will find a home.”
Do check out One Voice. Their programs are many, varied and effective!