December 24, 2010

10, 11, and 12

Christmas Kindness came to a close today.  Let me tell you a little about what we've been doing!

Day 10 was kind of a bust.  We were very busy and right before bed, we realized that we hadn't done our service project.  So we went back to the trusty  As Sadie was answering math trivia questions and racking up rice, she asked me how many grains of rice were in a serving.  We did a little researching and figured that one meal of rice would be around 2,000 grains.  She played and played and played and got up to about 600 grains of rice.  We added that to the total grains we had from previous days and estimated that we had donated close to a whole serving of rice.  She was really proud of herself for a minute.  Then she looked at me and said, "Mom.  What happens when the hungry people eat that one bowl of rice.  What will they do the next day when they get hungry again?"  My heart broke.  I wasn't really sure what to say.  This very question plagues me every single day.  And while there are no answers, there was a renewed sense that doing these projects has done a lot to teach my children about need and service.

The following day, we teamed up with my best friend in the wide world, Jessica, to help feed hungry people in our own backyard.  Jessica brought her niece, Selena, and we went and bought canned goods and food to take to a local food bank. 

Then today, for our last day of Christmas Kindness, we rallied with other members of our community to support a local family who is recovering from a terrible tragedy.  The Brown's, a family in our town, had their house burn to the ground last week.  They lost everything they owned.  But worse than that, their 6 year old daughter was trapped in the home and didn't make it out.  They also have a three year old son.  I thought back to last year at Christmas when my children were six and three.  I can't imagine what they must be going through.  It truly makes you stop and think about what is important and brings your focus back to the things that matter. 

A man in our city walked from one end of town to the other as people lined his route with donations in hand for the family.  It was rumored that the man's company said they would match money raised for the family if the man would do the collection route in a Speedo.  And by golly- he did it- in the freezing cold. 
We were there with bills in hand to watch the spectacle and give to the Brown family. (By the way- they raised thousands and thousands of dollars!) 

I can't even begin to tell you how proud I've been of my children for the last 12 days.  The spirit with which they've served has been inspiring.  I always thought about doing projects like this with them when they were teenagers, but I've realized that you are never too young to give back in your own way.     

This has been the least stressful holiday season that we've ever had.  We bought less, expected less and in doing so were able to give so much more.  It has been amazing.  It's not even Christmas day yet, and already my heart is so full, I can't imagine anything more.  

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