Simple Service: Planting Bulbs (and a few rocks too!)

Service Project: Volunteer at a local service event to plant bulbs

Prep time: 2 minutes to check websites

Cost: FREE

Duration: 1-3 hours

Lesson(s) learned: We can find ways that others are helping our community and join efforts.

How we did it:

Have you heard about justserve.org?  It is one of many great resource for finding volunteer opportunites in your town.  It is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints but is open for any organization to post volunteer events and anyone to sign up to volunteer.  A quick search a few weeks ago yielded plenty of opportunities.  A fall bulb planting put on by Willamalane sounded toddler-friendly and fit in our schedule so we gave it a try.  Willamalane also posted the event on their own website on their Volunteer page.  

I absolutely loved this project.  While driving home from it, I started to wonder why I liked it so much.  The event went on for 3 hours but we left after the first hour.  Anna planted a few bulbs but didn’t seem that interested.  At one point she was impatient to swing on the playground and let everyone know.  At another point she was scooping dirt onto the sidewalk and making a mess.  So, why did I leave thinking that it was so much fun?  Two things, 1) the event itself was super low key so we could do as much or as little as we wanted and feel good about any effort we made, and 2) I had no expectations.  No expectations from anyone, especially myself, made all the difference.    

Planting rocks.  Ya know, practice for planting more bulbs.

We arrived, signed in, got the low-down, grabbed gloves, a trowel, and a bag of bulbs, and went to the designated planting area.  I would make a hole with the trowel and Anna would drop a bulb in.  Cover that up then start again.  That worked for a handful of bulbs and then Anna got bored and dumped out all the bulbs.  I planted the rest from that bag while Anna explored.  For the next bag of bulbs, I got Anna her own trowel which helped immensely to keep her closeby enough to help drop the bulbs in the holes I dug in between digging her own shallow holes.  Towards the end of that bag, she ventured over to the playground.  I quickly planted the rest from that bag and then went over to the playground to push her in the swing.  Eventually we went back to planting and got 4 bags of bulbs in the ground before Anna completely lost interest and we decided to skedaddle, after going back to the playground to swing one last time.  The volunteer coordinator seemed genuinely grateful for our efforts and we left having both enjoyed ourselves.  Win win.    

Happy girl swinging between sessions of planting bulbs.

How can you and your family serve our community?  Check out justserve.org or serve.gov for volunteer opportunities near you.  If you are in the Eugene/Springfield area, check out the City of Eugene Parks or Willamalane volunteer pages for upcoming events.

Have you donated to Little Hands Can during our service party giveaway this month?  If you have, thank you!!  If not, your odds are very good that you could win that service party.  Whether you win or not, you’ll have the satisfaction that you’ve helped a great cause.  Can’t donate?  Get the word out to others and, as always, come serve with us!