Living Columns & Blogs

Volunteering brings families closer together

I will never forget the summer day shopping with my daughter in State College when, as we passed Moyer’s Jewelers, she asked, “Hey Daddy, isn’t that where we rang the bells?” I instantly recalled the cold, rainy, windy night we rang the bells for the Salvation Army when, despite our best intentions, the entire family was drenched, cold and wanted to abandon our kettle.

After a long pause, I hesitantly asked my daughter if she wanted to ring the bells again and was pleasantly surprised when she said, “as long as we can get hot chocolate again.” Thus began what has become an annual tradition for my family of ringing the bells for the Salvation Army on Christmas Eve.

We are blessed and fortunate to have many charitable organizations in our community and many of them have opportunities for the entire family to not only help those less fortunate and in need of a helping hand but also create some great family memories.


▪ Ask your kids how they would like to help make the world a better place.

▪ Involve your children with the selection of a local organization that addresses the need your children have identified and find an event in which the entire family can participate.

▪ Make the day of your event special with a small celebration.

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides monthly Action Ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents. For more information, or to join local conversations, contact David Eggebeen at, Robert Orndorff at rmo104@, Mick Trombley at, Chris Dufour at, Mark Oleynik at, Doug Loviscky at or Marc McCann at marc.mccann88@gmail. com.