Town's traditions teach next generation
From day one, my parents instilled in me the importance of giving back. Many times this took the form of volunteering or even giving small monetary donations.
During elementary school, they would take my sister and I to the grocery store to buy nonperishable foods for food drives. In middle school, it was volunteering at Vacation Bible School or other church events.
In high school, I was a candy striper at the local hospital and spent time picking up trash along the road for our Adopt-A Highway class project.
When I reached college, I volunteered at a local animal shelter and gave monetary donations to the church camp that I had attended and worked at for many summers.
Through these experiences, I learned the importance of giving selflessly and how many times it felt less like a commitment and a burden and more like fun.
The past two weekends, I have again had the opportunity to give back.
For many years, my fiancé’s parents have helped organize the Fredericksburg Band Booster’s Turkey Dinner.
They gather and wash every dish used to cook the meal, help with the stuffing, restock the food during the meal and then clean and organize supplies after.
They along with many other members of the community spent 50-plus hours over three days volunteering for the event.
Many of these people volunteering their time were members of the community, many that have no connection to the band today other than they want to support a great cause.
They believe in the arts and they believe in the opportunity that the band provides to students now and in the future.
Some are former band students who feel like they should give back to the award-winning program.
This trend continued this weekend when I volunteered for the Holy Ghost Lutheran Church Valentine Dinner. The purpose of the dinner is raise funds so kids can go to camp during the summer.
Saturday I spent the morning baking cheesecakes. Sunday I spent the afternoon decorating tables and folding napkins.
Most of the people attending the dinner were the average age of 72. They don’t even have kids who attend camp but they are people who believe in camp and the impact that it has on youth.
These are people that helped send my campers to camp each year, allowing paths to cross.
This was also the case behind the scenes.
Glenn and Kim Jung, Karrie Klier, Stacey and Doyle Moellering and Debbie and Blaine Phelps spent their time and money into helping prepare the dinner.
While they didn’t dine, they prepared and helped these kids interact with the people who help them get to camp.
There are so many people right here in this community that are happy to give their time and money for the youth. They love them and want to give them the best opportunities out there.
So, give back, no matter how old you are. Sacrifice a few hours of your time so you can support the arts or give kids the chance to develop meaningful relationships.
Parents and community members, thanks for giving your time and your money so selflessly. I am confident the next generation will follow.