Parent Magazine Volusia May 2019 - Page 8

DEVELOPING COMMUNITY AMBASSADORS By Lisa Habermehl, Director of Marketing & Special Projects, Duvall Homes, Inc. W e raise our children to be polite, to play safe and fair, to practice good hygiene, to finish their vegetables…and to do many other things. Well, there is another subject matter parents and teachers impress upon children that can make a positive impact on their future. Introducing the priceless value of community service to children, at a young age, helps develop caring adults with an understanding of the many areas in need of support that surround them. When elementary age students discover the needs of people in their own neighborhood, and learn how they can help, it stays with them forever and can create life- long ambassadors of their community. “The first time I remember helping my community was when I was eight years old. I helped clean up debris in the neighborhood after a hurricane,” said Dante Picchiello, a junior at Father Lopez High School. Since then, Dante has contributed numerous hours of service to his community. Just this past February, Dante began the month by volunteering to paint picnic tables at Duvall Homes, a nonprofit organization in Volusia County that provides services for people with special needs. He ended the month by preparing for a mission trip with classmates to the Dominican Republic. Volunteering comes in many forms and doesn’t necessarily require any travel. “I’ve always enjoyed Dante Picchiello (right), a high school junior from Father Lopez Catholic High School, paints picnic tables with his classmates at Duvall Homes, a nonprofit organization in Volusia County that provides residential supportive care and day training for people with Down syndrome, autism and other developmental disabilities. 8 | V O L U S I A parent M A G A Z I N E