This year, I made a commitment to trying to do more volunteering activities with my child. She’s old enough now to be able to do some of these projects and for the some of the important lessons that go along with the efforts. We’re blessed, really. We have plenty enough that my child doesn’t have to experience hardship firsthand, lucky enough that I have to think about how to help my child appreciate this.
I’m doing my best to slow down and make time for what’s important. I’m terrible at slowing down. This project was a good one to fit in at home. One my child could do while we cooked a couple gallons of soup. Yes, gallons.
The lunch bags each contain a lot of packaged foods that can be eaten cold. It’s definitely not the homemade foods we normally eat. I did try to put in some more natural items and find nutritious products. Each contains; a lunch kit, soup, applesauce, fruit and vegetable drink, and cookies. The kiddo’s job was to help pick out the food, write a kind word on each bag, and pack each lunch. I left it up to her to choose what to draw and write. The bags have stars on them, and flowers with a sunshine in the sky. They have words like “Be well.” “Get better.” And, “God loves you” wrapped in a heart.
We dropped the lunches off at church. From there they, along with others, get delivered to homeless individuals around the city. The people I see every day on my way to work. On the trips downtown when our child has been along, she, too, has seen the people who live under the bridge. She’s asked questions I can’t answer. Questions like “Why?” And, “What do they do if they are sick?”
For a handful, at least, she and I can now envision them getting a bright blue bag with a kind word and food. After the bags were done, we made a couple soup deliveries. One batch to a friend who has been sick. Another batch to the older neighbor whom my child loves to visit. These are small things, really. Six lunches. A bit of soup. Good wishes. Small lessons I hope build over time.
What kinds of volunteering do you do with your kids? How do you teach them some of life’s tough lessons?