Friday, November 16, 2012

Teaching to give

Our project for the past week has been learning to be more self-less (yes, I know it takes more than a week but you have to start somewhere). I've found it extremely necessary since the catalogues are pouring into the mailbox and, for whatever reason, our first two children seem to have noticed them more (A LOT more) this year. The "I'd like this" or "I need this" (my personally least favorite) sent me searching for a way to teach these two to look outward more and notice the needs of others.

On one of my favorite blogs, Catholic Icing, I came across Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan's Purse. The directions are on the website but basically, you fill a shoebox with toys/hygiene items/gifts for a small (2-4), medium (5-9) or large (10-14) size boy or girl and drop it off at a donation site (our local Methodist Church is the closest so we can walk too - bonus!).

I decided only #1 and #2 were ready to undertake this task and, considering his current state of the "gimmies", #2 is only marginally so.

After cello lessons we headed to the Dollar Store to pick out our treasures. In a bit of a twist, son picked a small girl and daughter picked a medium sized boy. Toys and toothbrushes, crayons and cars were carefully selected and taken home.

Next, the note from us wishing a Merry Christmas.

Finally, the gifts are packed, the lids wrapped (to be more festive) and the labels taped. I paid the extra $14 to have a tracking number so that we can receive emails to find out where our gifts travel.

I know that the excitement will be even greater when we find out where they were sent but it was pretty high already. As for the "gimmies"...they are still there but so is a greater sense of caring for other. Today I knocked over three or four plastic cups and I heard #2 from the other room, "are you OK?".. Truly heartwarming since I think, on most days, I could fall over myself and they would continue to read, oblivious to my plight.

I liked this exercise. The personal involvement of picking and packing makes it more meaningful than just sending a check somewhere. The added bonus of being able to check off art, handwriting, grammar, math, phys ed and geography for the week is my gift. ;0)

There are still a few days left so check out the website and send your own box. It's not much money and the experience is one we hope to make into a yearly tradition.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about them being super-aware of the magazines that are beginning to pour in. I try to cat ch them in time, but I haven't been that successful.

    Thanks for the idea- we may try this.