I'm happy to share how we're giving back, not to boast, but to encourage you to find a way to do something special with your kids too. I've found that I cannot just talk to my kids about serving or being compassionate. Forcing them into something doesn't work.
My actions speak louder than my words.
Serving together as a family and sharing past and present service projects I've done make the difference. My kids still talk about the playground that Daddy "helped build", Gramom volunteers at the local library, Grandad works with Special Olympics, I run a volunteer tutoring program at a Title I school. We don't have to teach them about giving, they are experiencing it through our daily lives.
Packing our Operation Christmas Child Boxes:
Some people are fearful that they will have to spend too much of their own money to participate in service projects. Amazingly enough, we were able to do the majority of our box by "shopping our house". I try to collect things when I find them on sale.
Total out of pocket expense today: $13 per box (socks and shipping donation)
Hard Candy - Halloween remnants
School Supplies (notepads, scissors, crayons, pencils)- from my stash of deals from August
Toys (balls, cars, games, animal, game)- the boys contributed some of their never used items (birthday party favors)
Toothbrushes and toothpaste - from our last visit to the dentist
Soap - from our excess of buying bulk at Sams Club
Mazes - we printed out the boy's favorite mazes from here
Socks - purchased
Plastic Shoe Box - already had, great for children to reuse
When I first told my kids that they'd be sharing from their excess things, they pouted. I wish I could say they were thrilled, but they weren't. I still collected by digging through my stash and purchasing the socks. Then we started to pack. There was still room in the box....
This is what made the difference for them.....
We went on the Operation Christmas Child website. There we watched Scotty McCreery pack his boxes and deliver them (click here) to the Dominican Republic. I cried. The boys started running through the house grabbing more things - balls, toothbrushes, small stuffed animals, and soap. We filled the boxes to the brim!
Our church is collecting the boxes this year. We were informed that as much as the kids love the toys and candy, they really appreciate the socks (to keep them from disease) and school supplies.
Bonus: We went to Chick-fil-a for lunch today and they had all of their Operation Christmas Child materials out. Free boxes you could fill, as well as "All About Me" sheets. The boys loved filling them out.
We're also tracking our boxes. We can't wait to see where they end up!
Looking to see if you can participate in your area? Click here. The national collection week is November 12-19.
Let our actions speak louder than our words.
Linking up with No Time for Flashcards Blog for a Cause.
Kristen @ Busy Kids = Happy Mom
Kristen's background is in elementary education, crafts and raising boys! Busy kids are those engaged in fun, practical, and purposeful activities in their daily life.