Volunteering with his parents at the Monarch School during Hope for San Diego’s annual Day of Service, Luke was very curious. This school for students experiencing homelessness was vastly different from his school in Solana Beach. Why are people donating school supplies for the kids at this school — don’t their parents buy them supplies? Why are these kids on public transportation for an hour to get to school—why doesn’t somebody drive them?
From an early age, both Jeff and Amanda learned from their parents that serving is just the natural way you live out your faith. “I don’t think there’s anything magical about what we learned,” says Jeff. “When people ask for help, you say yes, and you do it with a good attitude. We’re trying to instill the same thing in our children.”
On a recent rainy Saturday, Jeff, Amanda, Luke, and Ben Boerneke distributed clothing and supplies to newly-arrived Afghan refugees.
Amanda says that she appreciates the opportunity to bring her boys along to volunteer opportunities with Hope for San Diego. “A lot of times they end up playing with the other kids, but they see all of the adults doing manual labor and working together,” she says. “I think exposing them is probably the biggest thing you can do with your kids.”
It’s not always easy to make that happen with the busy life of a young family. Actually, it’s never easy, Jeff says. “There’s never going to be (well, maybe when you’re retired) a time where it’s convenient.” But it’s part of our calling as Christians to serve: “Full stop. It’s a command. So we have to find ways to serve.” Often, that means tag-teaming. Amanda says, “It’s nice to go all as a family, but sometimes logistically it’s not possible for both of us to go and take the kids.” So, they go solo and switch off being at home with the kids.
But Jeff and Amanda are committed to continuing to spark Luke and Ben’s curiosity with service opportunities through Hope for San Diego. And hopefully the kids will one day be able to say the same thing as Jeff: “I don’t think I’ve ever left any Hope for San Diego project saying, man, I wish I didn’t go to that.”
Interested in volunteering with your kids? Our upcoming 40 Days of Service is a great opportunity with lots of Saturday events in the season leading up to Easter.