It’s Time to Make the Doughnuts

The last half of this German chocolate doughnut goes to Paul when he comes home for lunch. It’s what left from our box of Senior Center Donuts—a small portion compared to the dozens of doughnuts my kids and I frosted alongside other Senior Center volunteers this morning.

Betty, who’s volunteered at the Senior Center Donut Day for more than 13 years, taught me the difference between the top and bottom of a cake doughnut and trained me to dip the tops in chocolate. I only frosted one upside down. EH frosted maple and peanut butter while KH and NH spread the ones with cream cheese.

They liked the satisfaction of eating their work, but I recognized the pleasure of contributing our time to a place we’ve never been.

As a family, we’ve grown stale in our service habits. We volunteer an enormous amount of time to teaching and leadership responsibilities within our church and service opportunities to other members of our church. Those skills and energies, though, can be utilized in a number of places in our community that need help.

I’ve sought the right time and place to involve my children in other community service, identifying a handful of opportunities but not able to settle on one in particular that would be right. With school ending and schedules becoming more flexible, I chose the Senior Center from my list. Sure, I knew that frosting doughnuts would be more appealing than picking up trash, but it’s a place to start.

We sacrificed sleep-in time this summer morning, and within two hours Betty handed me the dishrag to clean “my microwave,” laughing at how easily it had become mine. We’re now experienced Donut Day volunteers, trained and ready to frost donuts every other Thursday at sunrise.

While permanent, experienced volunteers are essential to an organization, new ones, even those who come only for a few months or a few hours, bring new life and vitality to it. More importantly, we needed the opportunity to step into a new place and allow others to teach us.


  1. sarah (GenMom)
    Jun 14, 2010

    I think it is wonderful to get the kids involved in a project like that and that picture just makes my mouth water. Dang.

    Keep up the good work. You are an awesome mom.

  2. Rebecca
    Jun 14, 2010

    Once again, I feel like you and I are on the same path. I have been feeling a strong need to get my daughter and myself involved in community service. Since she is only 2, options are incredibly limited. But I finally found out that the food bank does at-home deliveries to home-bound seniors. Taking the advice of a woman in my ward who says not to leave your kids in the car when you are on a service errand, I took my daughter out of her carseat on the loading of our car and then again on every delivery. She also helped me carry the lighter bags. It made the process incredibly slow, but worth it. I was rewarded when she jumped up and down and said, “THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!”

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