When I was younger, I was very involved in volunteer work.  In high school, I worked with a group of students that visited patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and raised money for cancer research, among other things.  I continued this tradition of service in college, spending time tutoring kids from a local youth group, working on home repairs at a local Habitat for Humanity house and participating and leading Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge service trips to Meridian, Mississippi and Covington, Louisiana.

There is truly nothing that can describe the feeling of service, especially in a setting where you get to meet the families that you are helping and work alongside them building their new homes!  As a young lawyer, I was always mindful of pro bono opportunities and ensured that it always made up a certain percentage of my work hours each year. 

Once I stopped working outside of the home in order to raise my son, I completely stopped volunteering for anything.  Given, in the early days of motherhood, there is absolutely no time to do anything of the sort!  But as the years have gone on, I have felt that part of my life calling to me.

Now that my son is in nursery school, there have been opportunities to get involved with donations to the community (food drives, holiday toy donations) and I’ve been introducing him to the concept of helping others.  I love that he “gets it” in his own age appropriate way and I think it is important for the concept of helping to be instilled at a tender age.

I think it is time for me to get back to volunteering, though.  I have time to donate and am in the process of finding a local charity where I can help out during the hours my son is in school.  I’m aiming for a few hours a month and to build on that as my schedule allows.  I have to say, it feels great to be back on the road to giving back again!

Have you been able to volunteer your time since becoming a mother? How do you teach your children to give back to the community?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Allison Charleston, an attorney gone stay-at-home mom in New York City.

Photo credit to FirstBaptistNashville http://www.flickr.com/photos/firstbaptistnashville/2657971489/. This photo has a creative commons attribute license.

Allison Charleston (USA)

Allison is a 35-year-old attorney-turned stay at home mom. This New York City mom lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with her 2-year-old son, Chase, and her husband, Andy. She is also expecting baby #2! In her former life, she was an attorney practicing in a mega firm on NYC’s Park Avenue, putting in long hours, working hard and reveling in the fast pace of her life. She loved living in “the city”, and when she could, she took advantage of all it had to offer. But, when Chase was born over 2 years ago, that all changed. These days, the work has changed from writing legal briefs to changing diapers and the hours are longer, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! Allison is enjoying her adventures as a metropolitan mommy, raising Chase in New York City and has gained strength from her longer-than-she-wanted-to-wait journey getting pregnant with her second child.

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