It is a really neat and humbling experience to see my children grow. Over the past few years I’ve been talking to my children about helping others and showing kindness to people we don’t know. Every year I’ve made the kids pick out a few toys to give away to the less fortunate, sending them along to Good Will and never seeing the end result. (That being it actually helping someone in need.)
This year I am changing the game and challenging the kids to really think about how to help others. For the past two months I’ve been researching different local non-profit organizations that help people in need. The problem is that most of them don’t let kids under 12 help with volunteering. A few places that offered ideas have spots available during school hours.
Then a project came home from second grade. They are doing the kindness unit in school and were challenged to perform a random act of kindness for someone not in their family. As I talked to her about what she could do, I gave her a piece of paper to write down some ideas. Immediately she wanted to help sick people in the hospital. Seeing that the hospital won’t let in children under 12 right now, I asked her to keep brainstorming. Then I remembered the Angel Tree for the Salvation Army. I had done this in the past before having my own kids. My daughter can go up to the tree, read about a kids wants and needs and pick which one to help! She still won’t get to see the end result… but it is a bit more real since we will have an actual kid.
This morning I could hear the kids talking it over about what they were going to buy the children. They were making some things in the basement and I was told that I was not allowed to enter. When they came upstairs to get dressed for school, they gently laid a few cards under the Christmas tree. They are addressed to me, my husband and some to each other. They were excited to get home today because they mentioned they have a lot more to make. I thought it was really cute how their little hearts are at work, trying to do nice things for other people. They have never asked to buy gifts for my husband and I… but they did this year. Thank goodness for the PTO Holiday Shoppe!