Asset Building Ideas


Asset Building Ideas

Simple Actions That Build Assets review these ideas, ranging from the super-simple and spontaneous to the more complex and planned, that will help you build assets for and with children and youth.

Asset Building in the Family
This past weekend my family was traveling.  But this time the 4 of us were in 3 different states.  My daughter and I enjoyed a girl’s weekend in a cabin in Nashville, IN with my sisters, mom and aunt.  My husband drove his father over 1,300 miles round trip through Arkansas and Missouri.  My son is enjoying a few days on the beach and scuba diving in Florida. Why is it the 24 year old kid gets to have the coolest trip?  That’s another blog.

My husband’s mission was to fulfill his dad’s desire to visit an uncle and take possession of a gun that belonged to his grandfather.  They took lots of detours on the way back. He humored his dad by driving by some of the old haunts that he grew up around.  During his childhood my father-in-law (FIL) took a bus from New Albany to Rolla, Missouri after school ended and spent his summers with Aunt Wilma and Uncle Arthur.  As they traveled Missouri back roads, father-in-law spun stories as they drove by where the pool hall stood, Uncle Lonzo’s gas station, 2 cemeteries, Aunt Ethel’s farm, Montauk State Park and the area where FIL was born.  My FIL acknowledges that Uncle Arthur was like a father to him.  That Missouri for the summer was where he felt most loved and nurtured.  Okay, he wouldn’t say those exact words – that would be too touchy feely. But he has very fond memories of those summers and the people he spent them with.

But being in the “community impact” business that I am- I see that FIL received a good number of the 40 Developmental Assets through his relationship with his aunt and uncle and the extended family in Missouri.  He experienced love and support, caring neighbors, and encouraging environment from his summer trips to Missouri. The 40 Assets are an array of experiences, attitudes and behaviors that help young people make good choices.  The more assets a person has the greater their chances for a successful life.

Chances are you are an asset builder too and just don’t think in that language.  You build assets when you teach Sunday School or coach soccer or are a scout leader.  You also build assets in less formal settings.  When your child takes a friend with you to the movies and you call that friend by name and show an interest in them – that is building assets.  When you patronize the youth car wash you let them know you value their activities you build assets. When you treat a youth with respect and make sure the cashier knows they were next you build assets.  See how easy this is.  It is every day actions like these that work toward our vision – that our community will be the most vital caring community in the nation. It can work in flipped direction also – my husband can build assets in his dad by investing 3 days driving, listening and spending time with his dad.

…Jan, Metro United Way (a founding partner in Youth Count)

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Melissa Weissinger  |  August 19, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    What a wonderful story!

    It is so important to build assets both in our personal and professional lives. Once a person becomes aware of the possibilities, opportunities to impact lives are all around us.

    Walking in to the YMCA for my evening exercise, there are always young people sitting on the benches waiting to be picked up. I make it a point now to at least say hello, and maybe have a conversation on my way in to the building.

    Melissa Weissinger, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, Youth Count Partner

  • 2. Bill Bartmann  |  September 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read.. <a href=";



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