The inspiration for doing service begins at home

Kim Roberts, NOLACatholicParenting.org

As Catholic parents, we all strive to raise children that embody and embrace our religion in acts and deed. We want them to do their best to live their faith every day and serve others.

My husband and I are parents of three children, and – without realizing it, through our volunteerism at their elementary school – we planted the seeds of service in each of our kids. 

I started out, as many mothers do, as the pre-kindergarten room mother for my first child. 

Twenty years later when my last child left St. Matthew the Apostle Elementary School in River Ridge, I had served as room mother each year for one or the other of my children’s class. 

They saw me actively taking part in their school and caring about what was happening there. In addition to room mother duties, I also served on the home and school association as president and on various committees. It seemed like I was at the school at least once every week for one reason or another. I was up there so much that my children’s friends asked if I worked there. 

I moved on to volunteering at their high schools, for the same reasons, and so I knew what was going on at the schools.

My husband and I also serve on the fair committee for our parish and have spent every fair weekend for the past 20 years on the school grounds. 

Our kids have gone from running into our booth to get money from us to now – that they are older – working in the booth.

Much to our glee, we now have three, able-bodied volunteers in our own house to work our booth. We didn’t even have to ask; they just said they were coming to help.

When we started volunteering, we knew it was the right thing to do. I’m not entirely sure we totally thought out that we were doing it as an example for our children to follow. But parenting is all about setting an example for children to follow. 

Our kids all volunteer at various levels in our parish, without our asking them to. They know it is part of their lives.

Not only have we been an influence to our children, our two older children now in their 20s have served as an example to our 13-year-old through their leadership in the youth group and CYO.  

While attending our first CYO meeting, the president was asking for a volunteer to head up the March for Life trip to Baton Rouge, and I heard a familiar voice volunteer. I did not think she would take on such a daunting task. When I asked her why, she said “Why not, they needed someone to do this, and I am that person.” 

I think that sums it up perfectly.

Kim Roberts resides in River Ridge with her husband and daughter, age 13, and has one son, age 21, who attends LSU and a daughter, age 24, who graduated from LSU and works as a graphic designer. As a parishioner of St. Matthew the Apostle, she has been active in the parish and with the Home and School Association. Additionally, Roberts has been president of the Council of Catholic School Cooperative Clubs, is currently on the Dominican High School Parents’ Club board and works with the Notre Dame Seminary Gala Committee and the Keep Christ in Christmas Committee.  She has a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Louisiana Tech University as well as a master of arts degree. Roberts is a freelance writer and has written a weekly column for The Times-Picayune for 14 years, several articles for Biz New Orleans Magazine and works part-time for Crimestoppers.

Please send comments to nolacatholicparenting@clarionherald.org. Visit the blog featuring three new posts a week at www.nolacatholicparenting.org.

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