It wasn't until I had a kid of my own (three years ago) that I realized the depth of truth underlying the clichés about all that children mean to our world.
Once I witnessed in my own household the potential, purity and vulnerability of a young life, I knew I wanted not only to nurture my son but also to help children who might not have the love, support or stability they deserve. And so I sought out volunteer opportunities at organizations devoted to preventing shaken baby syndrome and teaching parents the value of positive child-rearing techniques.
This week, AARP's Volunteer Challenge focuses on how to make a difference with youth. Ideas include getting involved with Experience Corps, a program where you can tutor and mentor children in urban areas; holding a school supply drive; helping children learn financial literacy; and the top 10 ways you can make the biggest difference in schools.
You can also read inspiring stories about others - including a former executive, an opera star, and a tennis pro - who give their time to prepare today's kids for tomorrow's world.
And you can join the conversation on volunteering - for any cause that moves you - and enter Create The Good's Win & Do Good contest, to win $15,000 for your chosen charity and a $25 gift card for you.
Yes, it's cliché to say the future depends on what we invest in today's children. But it'sg who we are today. It may have come from a teacher, coach, mentor or neighbor. Now w also true. Somewhere along the way, most of us had help outside our families in becomine have our chance to do the same for the next generation.
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