Saturday, September 21, 2019

Volunteering Part of Homeschooling

Six-year-old Dash Wilson was cleaning the table with determination. His 8-year-old brother, Syke, was wielding a broom, with dad Eleyah offering a tip on how to sweep more efficiently. Meanwhile, 19-month-old Kaleah was shadowing her brothers, offering advice in screams and shouts.

It was just another day of community service for the homeschooled Wilson family — except that the location was Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen.

The Wilson Family
Eleyah, Kaleah, Syke and Dash.

 As part of homeschooling, Eleyah noted, “we want to instill a commitment to community” and  to let them see there’s more to the world than “their own sandbox.”

“We want them to get experiences where they can understand things about life.”

They go out volunteering “two to four times a month” back home in Tampa, Florida. Eleyah said they’ve been in the Utica area for a few weeks visiting his wife Janna’s mother, who is recovering from a motor vehicle accident.

He is the homeschool educator. Janna works for a company that allows her to work from home. Wherever her computer is, that’s her office.

Why volunteer at the soup kitchen?

Eleyah said he contacted several organizations. Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen “welcomed us.” 

Guests and volunteers were impressed with the children.

John Knight, who volunteers three days a week, rewarded them with popsicles and said:

“Thank you for helping out today. It was so cool.”

The Wilsons enjoyed their volunteering so much that they returned to the soup kitchen almost every day, even bringing along mom.
Noted Eleyah: "We are planning on coming back to the area next  summer and will be volunteering again."