Backstory: Three weeks ago after church you could grab a paper “kid” from the board in the foyer to take home. Each “kid” had a real name and address of one of the children about to have his/her First Communion. Instructions were to pray for this child and his/her family and possibly send a card to him/her if you felt comfortable with it. So I had Stella pick one on our way out – she chose the pink one above. Fast forward to this past Sunday and an announcement was made that there were still children available…please consider taking one or an additional one.
Me, the mommy – Stella, let’s leave church from the front doors, because there are still “kids” to take off of the board.
S – Ok!
Me – Alright, choose one for Charlotte.
(Stella chooses the orange “kid” and I start to leave.)
S – But mom, we need a kid for Henry! We need one more.
Me (hesitantly) – Ok, pick another one.
And so we left with a yellow one as well. I did hesitate for one moment. Was it worth explaining that Henry really didn’t need one? He couldn’t draw a picture for us to send. But there were still quite a lot of “kids” left behind. And then I immediately thought of my dear friend and her foster/adopt situation. She wouldn’t think twice about taking in another real kid in need. And here I was hesitating to commit to one more piece of paper – a prayer and a card. How silly of me. It definitely put my situation in perspective…big time. (Now if Stella had asked to take all of the paper “kids” home, another conversation would have occurred.)
Even though our kids are young, we are always trying to instill in them kindness towards others…giving of their time at an early age. Even if the “volunteering” of time looks different.
Here are some things we have done:
I learned that one of my aunt’s friends in Florida was in the hospital for awhile and craving “real” food. Stella and I had actually met this person while visiting my dad. So Stella helped me make some zucchini bread and drew him a picture. He apparently enjoyed his care package very much.
There is a man in our neighborhood who decorates for Halloween like Clark Griswold decorates for Christmas. Stella just LOVED it and we drove by every night. We put a drawing with a note in his mailbox dictated by her, “Dear Man, I love it! I love it! I love it! Thank you for decorating!” Andy introduced her during Trick-or-Treat. He was thrilled to meet her. He even admitted to scanning her drawing and sending it to his friends/family that question him for doing this each year!
We recently went through all of the toys and Stella and Charlotte both picked out a couple of items that they don’t play with anymore. I don’t know why I was surprised, but they actually picked out more once I told them we were giving them to kids without toys.
I made a meal yesterday for a family in a friend’s neighborhood that has a very sick child. I want Stella to see me do things like this.
So tonight after dinner we’ll work on our cards for the paper “kids”. Our own kids aren’t old enough to understand the complete concept of money yet. Although Stella is collecting coins with her Sunday school class “to buy chickens for the poor”. The same friend as above has a Sharing Saturday concept with her family. Click HERE to read more about it.
How do you involve your children in helping others? How do you instill in them the concept of good deeds?
Conversation between Stella & I after church school on Sunday: