Building compassion

. September 25, 2012.

For a tween, the first day of summer vacation often commences with a binge on all the time-killers that were forbidden during the school year — Facebook, texting, TV, gossip and mall outings with friends. It can be a self-centered time, and parents may be at a loss as to how to direct their child’s attention outwardly. Volunteering (without the stress of juggling school days and homework) is one way parents might instill a sense of compassion and provide direction for the future, according to Beverly Phillips, community services director for the United Way of Hancock County. 

“I think that at that point in life, young people are starting to make critical decisions about what they’re going to be doing with their future, how they’re going to promote themselves and also how they will get involved in the community,” Phillips said. Colleges and employers looking at applications ask “’who is going to make the better college student or who is going to make a better employee?’ The one who is involved in service — they’re going to look for the one who is selfless, the one who is going to make the world a better place.” Phillips says young adults often volunteer alongside of their parents, or they find a cause they are passionate about and can serve on their own.

Below, Phillips offers her suggestion to tweens and their families for volunteer opportunities they can take advantage of this summer. “All youth participation should be discussed with parents and should have adult guidance,” Phillips adds. Below, some local organizations where parents and their kids can find opportunities to help their community.

Animal Shelters

The Humane Society and SPCA of Hancock County
4550 Fostoria Ave., Findlay
Blanchard Valley Healthy System’s Volunteens
1900 S. Main St.
Contact Sue Schutz, director of volunteer services
Visit for locations and contact info for the three branches.
Salvation Army
509 N. Main St.
Nursing Homes
Blanchard House
2000 North Blanchard St.