The Volunteer Family Award, sponsored by Devon Canada, recognizes a family that volunteers together as a team; consisting of at least one adult and one child who are related. Its purpose is to celebrate the important role that parents and other influential adults play in inspiring children and youth to become lifelong volunteers with a strong sense of civic responsibility.
Having a loved one with a disability is what inspires the Johnson Family to give back to the organization that has made a tremendous difference in their lives – the Between Friends Club.They came across the organization six years ago while looking for a summer camp for Teague.
“It’s really difficult to find a place for kids with disabilities to belong, to hang out and to have fun with people who are like them and people who understand what they’re like,” said Kathryn Johnson.
Between Friends Club provided just what they needed – a place that creates opportunities for people with disabilities to connect, grow, and belong through social and recreational activities. Since getting acquainted with the organization, the Johnson Family had found ways that they can all contribute and be a part of this social community in which Teague is a part of.
While Teague enjoys the perks of being part of a caring community, his dad photographs events, his mom lends a hand in the office and at various events, and his big brother, Connor (14), volunteers at CampBonaventure. It is a true Johnson Family engagement!
“I definitely think one of the benefits of volunteering as a family is the connectedness. It just increases that family connectedness. We all have a similar goal, we have a similar organization that we love to serve, and we are more than willing to be there to help out,” said Kathryn Johnson.
“As parents, one of the things you’re always trying to do, is instill in your kids the values that will drive their life, and make good choices,” said Garth Johnson. As if to prove this point, his son, Connor, reflects exceptional values, a lot of which were gained through volunteering.
“I’ve learned a lot; how to be a lot more patient, how to be a lot more considerate and how to think things through a lot more. I’ve learned a lot of tolerance and that kind of stuff, but I’ve also learned what it’s like to be in their position,” said Connor. “So I’ve learned how to help them with that.”
The Johnson Family is a perfect example of how a family working together for a common goal can gain so much out of giving back.