Kids Learn About 'Giving Back'


April 24, 2009|By HANAH CHO | HANAH CHO,

With a hairnet on his head and too-big plastic gloves slipping off his small hands, 9-year-old Michael Woods began making a sub sandwich by placing a slice of cheese on the bread.

Then other schoolchildren add two slices of turkey, a slice of ham and some lettuce to finish off the sandwich, one of 700 that Michael and other children of Constellation Energy Group employees assembled Thursday to feed people at Our Daily Bread, a soup kitchen in Baltimore.

"Yeah, it's fun," Michael says as his father, Gary, a Constellation information technology employee, stands nearby. "It helps the homeless."

Instead of shadowing their parents at work all day, the annual "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" at the Baltimore energy company has morphed into an opportunity for children of Constellation employees to engage in several community service activities.

After the volunteer work, the children joined their parents at their offices.

"This is much better. He's giving back. I'm trying to enforce that in him," Gary Woods says. "It's a work in progress. I think he's starting to get the message."

Several years ago when Molly Shattuck, wife of Constellation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mayo A. Shattuck III, was asked to speak at the event, she decided it would be better to involve the children in a service project.

She helped the kids organize a fundraising event at the company's annual golf tournament selling chocolate chip cookies, brownies and snow cones. The proceeds went to the event's overall charitable contribution.

Other projects at past "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" events included making 1,500 care packages for children at homeless shelters and assembling 1,300 care packages for Maryland National Guard troops deployed in Iraq.

"It's very critical to ... show them how easy it is to help and that every little thing adds up," says Molly Shattuck, who was joined Thursday by her three school-age children.

Besides making sandwiches this year at the Port Discovery museum, the children assembled 300 bags, each containing wipes, a bib, pacifiers, a bottle and ointment, for homeless mothers at several local shelters. And they also signed pledges to help the environment.

"I like doing this because it's fun to help people," says 8-year-old Lizzy Wright, of Severna Park, whose father works at Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.

To encourage more volunteer work, Molly Shattuck said Constellation will sponsor one family-friendly community service activity each month starting in May.

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