One of the values I hope to instill in my children is a moral imperative for public service. I hope that they will be willing to imagine themselves in the shoes of others and hope that they will respond and work towards social change when witnessing inequalities and disparities. We’ve worked on introducing Lucia to these ideals by organizing her clothes and toys together to donate to shelters, preparing Christmas boxes for children in other countries, and having a daily ritual of ending our days by discussing what we are thankful for.
We also hope that our kids will have a concern for the earth and how their daily choices will have an impact on future generations. We teach to recycle in our home, turn off lights and discuss why we choose products that are Eco friendly.
I’ve been searching for service projects that seemed appropriate for a three year old. When my friend Sarah told me about the “One thing that’s green event” sponsored by the New York Restoration Project and Jet Blue, I knew it would be a great service project for our family. Lucia still talks about the tornado that took out an estimated 3,000 trees in Queens last September and clearly remembers the massive amounts of fallen trees in Forest Hills.
Together with around 600 volunteers we planted trees in Macdonald Park in Forest Hills on Saturday. It felt great to be part of such a positive collective project. Bob didn’t even make fun of me when I started to shed tears as U2’s “It’s a beautiful day” was blasting as the volunteers marched around the park behind the project’s flag holders!
The next day Lucia stopped at one of the many massive tree stumps on our block and said “Look, this tree fell over, we need to plant a new one”!
|Pirate captain LP surveying the damage, September 2010|
|One of the many fallen trees in Forest Hills last September.|
|Lucia and Bob back-filling.|
|Lucia hard at work.|
|Bob planting a tree.(Note LP in the background supervising another tree planting)|
|Mama spreads mulch and Adrian spreads Joy|