Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cesar Chavez and...Thanksgiving?

Friday is Cesar Chavez Day and a lot of people use the celebration of Cesar Chavez to focus on Community Service. I'm using it as an opportunity to focus on the ways we can encourage our little ones to be aware of improving the world in which they live. 

For little, little ones (like my 2 1/2 year old, Sky), formal community service, such as volunteering at the local food pantry, is clearly not an option. However, teaching little ones to care for others and their community is possible.

Something that Sky seemed very aware of early on was messes and trash. What a blessing to have a child that likes to clean up. Even when he was first walking, if he saw trash at the park he could not play until he had picked it up and thrown it away. He's still like that and, of course, it is something that we encourage -- cleaning up after one's self, not littering, and picking up trash outside if we see it. 

Perhaps he knows somehow that picking up trash was something he experienced in utero. My mother and I walked through the neighborhood the days leading up to Sky's birth squatting down and pick up trash in hopes of rushing him along.
Leading by example is important. Through this, we can foster community service and generosity. This past year, we took fruit to a Thanksgiving Dinner for the needy and helped out. One of the things they needed volunteers to do was clear tables as people left. Holding Sky's hand, we got a trash bag and began to clear tables.

Of course, he loved it and saw it as his mission to find every little piece of trash on the ground. He surprised guests as he crawled under their feet to pick up stray plastic spoons and such.

As we left the community event to head over to friends for our family Thanksgiving meal, my husband and I agreed that helping out should definitely be part of our family's Thanksgiving tradition!

For more service ideas for children and families, check out these Pinterest boards:

Be the Change
Pennies of Time


  1. What wonderful traditions and values your are instilling in you little ones. My son gets quite upset when he sees rubbish and we are going to start taking a bag to pick it up when we go walking - so your post seems really timely for me :-)

    Thanks so much for sharing on Happy Family Times

  2. I think many children have a natural aversion to trash. I think nurturing it is so important. Glad to hear of another mother-son duo doing this. Loved reading about your family times!

  3. What a great lesson and way to do community service with a young one. Thank you for sharing at Happy Family Times!

  4. Children learn from what they see. What they see being done by the adults they look up to is what they interpret to be correct. Environmental awareness starts from how parents educate and train their children of how important it is to maintain a clean and healthy environment. The simple act of picking trash as you walk leaves a lasting impression on your children.

  5. What a great idea! My son is almost three, and I always struggle with finding community service projects that are appropriate to do with him. Great suggestion & thanks for sharing at the Culture Swapper!

  6. I think this is one of the very first posts I ever pinned for Pennies of Time . . . so glad to get to know you and have a chance to revisit this thoughtful post! YAY for the support of likeminded people . . . I need that to keep going!