‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.’ – Aesop
This past summer even though we are basically living in a vacation home here in Sneads Ferry on the water, it was important for me to find things my kids can do with me to serve others. Not just sleep in, stay up late, watch movies, play video games, boating, beaching, fishing, and doing fun stuff for them. I do want them to enjoy their summer here and make new memories. But I wanted them to remember to be humble and grateful for this time here.
I found a place in Sneads Ferry – about 10 mins from our house called Mama J’s Helping Hand – A Hand Up – Not a Hand Out. They do so much for our community here run by Jeannette ( Mama J’s) It is a food pantry, soup kitchen ( she makes meals all the time), emergency and disaster relief, household rebuilding and just a great community resource for so many.
Ralph, Hunter, Ethan and I spent the morning organizing their food pantry. And we didn’t even get to finish the job! There were so many donations in such a small place it was hard to see what there was. It was my kind of project! The boys worked for several hours, not once complaining but offering solutions on how to help more, how to keep it organized and where to put all of the stuff.
It melts my heart to see how hard they worked.. and it was work.. in the summer time we were all sweating! But it was a memorable experience for all of us. Ethan even asked when they could go back and that he was grateful to be able to help them. They even got to help serve a few people that came in and fill up their grocery bags for the families. It was cute watching them decide what kinds of things the family might like to eat. Something that so many of us take for granted…where is our next meal going to come from.
One thing I have always tried to instill in my kids is being kind to others. Sure, they still fight like brothers/siblings do and I feel like I am constantly breaking up fights. But, they have never turned down an opportunity to serve others. We, just like every other family are a constant work in progress. We try once, it doesn’t work, we try again. I am proud of their kind hearts and of even seeking out new opportunities to help others they don’t even know. I have taken my kids to countless fundraisers, events, service projects and even meeting sick children and adults.. They know that even though we don’t have much, we have much to give and so much to be grateful for. I was always taught – we serve others.
We spent a few hours of our summer helping Mama J’s organize her food pantry and hope that it helps her help others!
So many parents are more concerned about their children’s achievements and their happiness and not so much about caring for others. Teaching kindness, compassion and caring for others is to be taught at home and needs to be led by example.
What things are you doing with your kids for service projects? One of my goals is to do a monthly kindness/service project with them. We are working on working skills lately but also want to make it more of a habit to do service projects with them as well.