I am sure we can all look back on our school experience a little grimily. It was a time when we realized not everyone was our friend, we weren't perfect, our family might be a little and/or HUGELY awkward, sometimes we were downright ruthless, and most stressfully our pain was often mocked rather than nurtured. During this age the inward focus of self-happiness and self-preservation is so strong that we didn't recognize anyone else felt exactly the same way we did.
I believe adolescence is an ideal period to expose your kids, your students, your scouts to other's pain, other's suffering, other's joy, other's happiness, and other's differences. Volunteering at a homeless shelter gives you sympathy where there was otherwise none for the man on the street and gives you empathy when you had no idea you could vicariously feel so deeply for someone who was so dissimilar to you.
Second Baptist School recently volunteered with Star of Hope. They helped with chores and odd jobs. They were the hands and feet of Christ and brought rest to the weak. I know without a doubt that we were blessed by their presence. I just pray their world view was stretched that day forcing them to be more confident in Christ, more humble in their weakness, more empathetic to one another, and more gracious to everyone including themselves.
If you volunteered with Star of Hope and it had a big impact on your life share your story!