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Fayette-Mom: Learning gratitude, helping out in Fayetteville

Posted September 12, 2014 9:28 a.m. EDT

Courtesy: Facebook

— I’ve heard from many other moms following my post about teaching children to be grateful, and they all expressed the same desire to find ways to help our kids appreciate what they have.

Luckily for me, there are several opportunities in Fayetteville to help highlight the needs of others. Here’s what I’m looking at so far:

Operation Inasmuch: I’ve been hearing about this faith-based organization for years, and they have quite a large presence in the Fayetteville area, providing hot breakfasts for the homeless, performing home repairs and maintenance in area neighborhoods, and providing skills training for those in need. The kids can help entertain other children on Neighborhood Blitz Day. They also can help buy items for the Operation Inasmuch Wish List such as personal care and hygiene items, T-shirts, socks and underwear in men’s and women’s sizes, and supplies for the kitchen. It’s a great way to show kids how good it feels to go shopping for the needs of others instead of always buying for yourself!

Interfaith Hospitality: If I’m looking for a more hands-on way for kids to work to help others, I need look no further than this faith-based organization. Each week, several Fayetteville-area churches take turns providing overnight housing and meals for women and children seeking shelter. The adults minister to the moms, while the children play host to the kids who are visiting, playing games and just being a friend. I know several families who have helped, and they all say the experience meant so much to their whole family.

Fayetteville Humane Society: Pets need love, too! I have one child who may sometimes overlook needs in humans, but if an animal needs assistance, this child can’t wait to pitch in. I always thought having kids as volunteers with animals would be problematic, but the Fayetteville Humane Society offers an orientation program that includes tweens. As long as your child is donating their time and talents to the betterment of someone or something other than themselves, I think that is time well spent.

This is by no means a comprehensive list; I have the feeling I’m just scratching the surface when it comes to the local opportunities available. Please comment if you have more suggestions! Because as I said on Facebook, I’m going to make these kids appreciate what they have if it’s the last thing I do.

(Editor's Note: For volunteer opportunities for kids in the Triangle, check the More on This section).

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in 2010. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. She writes about motherhood and family-friendly events in Fayetteville here on Go Ask Mom.