Sunday, July 31, 2016

Consistency: The Key Ingredient in Family Volunteering & IRONMAN Training

I've listened to multiple podcast episodes about triathlon training where the host will ask his/her super-successful guest the all-important question:  What is the one thing that is the key to your success?

Without fail, it seems that the answer is...Consistency.

It's not really the answer a newbie triathlete wants to mean there's not a magic training plan that makes everyone successful?  No magic bullets?  No way I can instantly cut 30 seconds off of my 100yd swim time by changing something in my form?

So what does this have to do with our family volunteering experience yesterday?

First, let me say that we had a great experience and were honored to have the opportunity to support an organization that does important work for individuals in need in our community. Jeff, the kids, and I spent time at the Society of Samaritans (SOS), an organization focused on providing food, clothing and emergency financial assistance and other necessities to the needy of the Greater Magnolia area. We worked in their clothing and distribution center where clients can get a voucher and use it for clothes, household items, appliances, and furniture.   

We were immediately welcomed and Miss Betty who did a wonderful job teaching the kids about how even the small jobs (like sorting hangers--which is what Ty and Megan spent most of their time doing) made a big impact on the organization by allowing them to provide a nice environment for their clients that might be going through very difficult challenges in their lives.

On the way home, knowing how reflection is so important to help the kids learn from the experience, I asked questions about the experience and was reminded of a blog post from Doing Good Together in which she talks about her challenges and how maybe 1 in 4 attempts at a meaningful kid conversation results in a "wow" moment.  Our conversation yesterday was fun but was more about the hangers and how tangled they were than anything to do with the people that needed help.

So, back to the question of what the consistency necessary for effective IRONMAN training has to do with family volunteering..

Well, maybe just as there's no "magic bullet" for triathlon training, there is no one volunteer experience or technique that will develop empathy and insightful reflection.  Maybe, just like in triathlon training, success (reinforcing "big-heartedness" and empathy in children) comes from showing up again and again, choosing the approach that works for you, and surrounding yourself with a supportive community focused on similar goals.

Both Little Helping Hands and Doing Good Together support just that...they offer different approaches, a supportive community, and ways to "show up."  I am excited to be on this journey with all of you , and to support the organizations that make similar journeys together for so many families.

To join our journey and support the work of these two organizations through a tax deductible donation, click on one of the links below.  Any size donation helps!  Remember, if you're able to donate $50 or more, our family will "match" your donation by supporting an organization/cause of your choice with our family's time or money.

Thank you in advance!

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