Columbus arts educator Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld shares more of her wisdom about raising happy, healthy, creative children.

Columbus arts educator, author and all-around inspiration Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld shares more of her wisdom about raising happy, healthy, creative children:

Many years ago, I was planning to plant a garden for my quite elderly mother. Her 2-1/2-year-old neighbor, Pnina, was visiting, and I invited her to help the following day. When I called Mom that morning to see if they were ready, she said, "I'm ready, but my assistant is getting her diaper changed!"

Even our youngest children want to help! They LOVE jobs and will eagerly do their best in any situation.

When my niece, Caryn, began her teaching career, she called to report that her third grade room was all set for the children. I asked how many jobs she had on her "job board." She told me ten. Then I inquired how many children were in her class. "Twenty one." I know I ruined her excited anticipation by challenging her, "Caryn, can you think of 21 jobs so that every day every child becomes a helper?" She did and they were!

Recently, I was invited to help celebrate middle-school students for their academic achievements and outstanding volunteer services. The event was sponsored by the Clintonville Chamber of Commerce and honored students from eight middle schools, including the Ohio School for the Deaf and the Ohio School for the Blind.

These children had volunteered in food pantries, tutoring, litter removal, cleaning creeks, walking dogs, playing with young children in hospitals, homeless shelters, community centers, fund raising for medical research, disaster areas, toys for holidays, clothing drives, book gatherings, working in their churches, synagogues, mosques, helping with the Salvation Army, Scouts, Y's, sports teams, senior centers, gardens, house cleaning…the list goes on!

I gathered all their comments on the papers they wrote for the Chamber about why they volunteer. Their responses were articulate and heartfelt. I loved them all and will share just a few: It makes me feel happy to help people; I love the feeling when you put a smile on someone's face; We need to help one another; It's just the right thing to do; When you help others, you can change their lives and they change yours.

Time and space limit our words. I need to hurry. My little friend, Jonah, is on his way now to help me sort crayons and markers.

He just had his diaper changed.

-Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld