Twice a month, people gather at our church to work on various service projects. Some are projects happening in classrooms (like crocheting plastic grocery bags into giant sleeping mats for the homeless. Seriously! And they look awesome!) and sometimes people head out into the city to hand out meals, deliver donated furniture, play BINGO with people in a nursing home, etc.
The bulk of the family friend projects are geared towards elementary age and higher kids, which means this little (ok, big) family hasn’t attended any of these service days. That is, until this past Saturday!
See, the mom’s group I’m in helped sponsor the service day this last weekend, and part of the deal was that they would have projects even the early childhood kids could help with. Woohoo!
Lily chilled in her stroller for a while and then was scooped up by a very willing baby-holder, which was nice because it freed Nick and I up to help the boys with their projects. First up? Decorating peanut butter jar labels.
Hundreds of kids in Kansas City receive a backpack full of food (from members of our church), each Friday when they leave school. The idea is that the food in the backpacks will help sustain them (and some of their family) through the weekend. See, a lot of them only get fed at school (on the subsidized meals). Their families are too poor to provide food over the weekend. Breaks your heart to hear, doesn’t it?
The idea here was that the kids could decorate these pieces of paper and then secure it to a jar of peanut butter. The little notes and pictures would help brighten the day of the child receiving the backpack!
After they got tired of doodling on the paper, they moved on to another project. This one was simply decorating the fronts of notebooks. These notebooks will be given to children who are in a transitional home after being removed from their parents’ care, and I guess journaling is one of the first things the children are encouraged to do. Adults at the service project day wrote a short note of encouragement on the first page of each of the books.
The boys also got to help package cute little S’more packages to be delivered to the teachers at the inner city schools our church partners with. (“We need S’more teachers like you!” was the note on top of the package.) I think the boys got the biggest kick out of that one because of the cool gloves (which they brought home, of course)!
All in all, it was a fun 90 minutes. Nick and I both loved that the boys got to have a taste of being helpful and taking care of other people. Next on the “helping others” agenda? Having them go through their enormous stash of stuffed animals and each selecting a few to donate!