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by Ron
 It's Pay-back Time

Many full-timers pull their RV's off the road for several months and head into a destination park. Setting still can occur at any time of the year, but many of us choose the sunbelt in the winter time as we join the snowbirds coming down from their homes in the north. It makes sense because there aren't that many warm weather states and spaces could be at a premium both in cost and availability. 

These periods of setting still provide an opportunity for us seniors to give back to this great country that has given us so much. It's pay-back time. In our seminars and books Barb and I have discussed the joys and benefits of volunteering in our public parks. We have fond memories of participating in these programs as campground hosts, tour guides, living history portrayals and visitor center helpers.

There are all kinds of volunteering opportunities, but now I would like to share with you  my favorite volunteer activity. It is also the most rewarding. For the past four winter seasons I have been volunteering at the local elementary school where I am rewarded with smiles and hugs from the little ones that know I am there to help them. Because of language problems or disfunctional homes, these kids are in need of one-on-one assistance. They want to learn and just need a little help. Politicians from both parties say they have the educational answers, but it still gets down to home support and we can help where there is none. What a great way to get your "grandchild fix." It's so satisfying to read with a child or go through math flash cards as they learn to add and subtract. Teachers just don't have the time to give this individual attention. Our efforts will have a lasting effect and will change a child's life. If they don't get help in the lower grades, they just get further and further behind.  They need and deserve a chance.  Volunteer commitments can suit your schedule and can be for as little as several hours a month. The local elementary school will be glad to help you get started. For the safety of the children they do have to run a background check so it's best to get started right away. Once on the list you are set for subsequent years.

No experience is necessary. You are needed. They want you. Your grandchildren will be so proud of you. 

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