January 5, 2015
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Every parent’s wish is to nurture kindness in their children that equips them to contribute to their world. For Jen Reeder, a single mom raising four boys in Logan, UT, she has found the ideal outlet for her family to spend time together as they help others. The Reeders participate in relief services for families in need, at-risk youth, the elderly and church youth throughout the year, lending their time to help with everything from childcare services and meal preparation to and financial and medical assistance, painting old buildings, shoveling snow, planting flowers and doing yardwork. They also organize youth mentorship activities and programs. Their calendar is chock full of projects and volunteer commitments. And Jen wouldn’t have it any other way. "I grew up in a service-oriented family,” she explains. “My parents were always giving service, whether it was for neighbors, church, or strangers stranded in the snow. They always took us along and always gave that service with a willing heart and a smile." Jen served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer as well, building skills she uses now to lead her crew of boys in service – Nelson has been involved for 17 years, Allen has been involved for 15 years, Logan has been involved for 12 years, and Gavin has been involved for 8 years. Together, the Reeders help 20 community individuals through Relief Society services. They also provide educational opportunities to 60 total youth enrolled in literacy programs. They family also assists 4 households with yardwork and maintenance throughout the year. Says Jen of her sons, "I love to watch them now, as they also look for opportunities to serve and want to take me along!"