My family and I have a tradition when vacationing in a new US city is to take some time out of our sightseeing to volunteer in the communities we are visiting. Recently on a trip to Boston, MA, we took a few hours out of our schedule to work at a food bank serving a homeless community.
While we were there my teen and young adult children and I had the chance to meet some locals who were volunteering, as well those whom we were serving. We got to know their stories, learn about their struggles and talk about the Boston RedSox (they went on to win the World Series that year).
While we only spent just 3 hours at the food bank, and the rest of our trip included going to Fenway for a Red Sox game, the aquarium, great food in little Italy and enjoying many other fun activities, it is the time at the food bank we still talk about. We connected with the community and learned more about the city in those 3 hours than the entire rest of the trip through the people we learned from that day.