J has been bringing home many random flyers since starting school. Most recently, they have been about Football, Cheerleading, and Softball sign-ups, as well as lots and lots of PTA fund raisers. Most of these just go in the trash, but one that came home a couple of weeks ago caught my eye. The PTA was planning a service project on a Saturday morning to make fleece tied blankets and then deliver them to nursing home patients.
My children have never been involved in a service project before, although I keep intending to take them to the Soup Kitchen to help out some day. I thought this sounded like the perfect opportunity, and we would only have to invest 3 hours of our Saturday! So, I signed us up.
After returning C home, we grabbed some lunch, and headed up to the NH. We waited and waited for the rest of the crew to arrive with the blankets, and then began our very unorganized mission to give them to patients without family members who would most likely appreciate both a visit and the blankets.
After about an hour and a half, I was getting a bit ancy. I had lots to do at home, it was sweltering there (they must keep the thermostats set at 75* or better, plus I was walking around carrying a stack of fleece blankets!), and I was ready to leave. I watched the girls though...L was determined to give her blanket to a man (and they are few and far between in this NH), but she persisted, and found just the right gentleman to give hers to. He praised her work, thanked her effusively, and told me how beautiful she was. J pitched right in, and while some of the younger kids were a bit shy about entering a room to present a blanket, she marched right in and did it. "This is really fun!" she told me. That did my heart good.
We saw a range of reactions to our gift giving...a few tears, some foks were worried about how to pay for the blankets, but most of all, we saw smiles. JP asked me later if they really needed blankets there. I explained to him that most of the recipients were chosen because they had infrequent or no visitors, and that most of them seemed extremely happy to 1) see the children, and 2) be given a gift.
In the end, our 3 hour service project ended up taking most of the day on Saturday. The girls returned home with the sense of a job well done, and the memory of all those smiles. I started in on my weekend projects a few hours later than intended, but having spent a lot of worthwhile time with my kids. That's even more valuable than a To-Do List with all of the items crossed out.
5 months ago