Father’s Day Gets Me Thinking About How My Daughter Inherited My Passion for Volunteering

Jun 19, 2015 10:45 AM ET

This post is by Matthew Little, who says his service in AmeriCorps two decades ago shaped not only the way he looks at the world, but who he is as a father. 

Since she was 3, my daughter Maggie has happily volunteered to collect items for children in need. She gives of herself to reach out to others who are hurting and keeps my wife and me honest when we don’t live up to our own ideals. She has donated her toys (even some baby dolls) and raised funds to support those who have nothing.

As I think about Father’s Day, I’m reminded of how much my daughter still reaps the benefits of my year of service in AmeriCorps – despite being born years after I joined AmeriCorps’ first class, in 1994.

I recognize and celebrate all that Maggie – now 5 – does for others. Thanks to AmeriCorps, I came to realize that even as a small child she could give so much, if only she were provided the opportunities.

The opportunities I see my daughter given all began because of a decision I made at 18. After high school, I dreamed of going to college. Unfortunately, I had no way to make that dream a reality.

I came from a family with few financial resources, but an abiding belief that I would go to college and a strong sense of responsibility to help others in need. While we had no treasure, we gave our time freely.

Read the rest of the story on the Points of Light blog.