A couple of weeks before my mother's birthday we all got an email telling us what she wanted for her birthday. She had learned that our local food bank distributes food packets to children in reduced financial situation each Friday. The food bank ensures that they have something to eat over the weekend.
Mom got the list of items in the food packets and we each purchased the necessary items to help fill the packets. We all gathered together and created an assembly line filling the gallon bags with each of the food items.
Mom and Dad had set up long tables and written how many of each of the items needed to be placed in the bags so the children could work independently. It was fun to hear them talking and laughing as they filled the bags. It wasn't a difficult project, but there was teasing about who was doing the best job. When bags were backed up in front of a section there was even light hearted harassing.
These two cousins primarily enjoyed one another's company and the treats supplied. It's wonderful to see the children develop wonderful friendships with their cousins.
I appreciated the fact that my children, even the little guys, were learning to think about others. They couldn't fathom the idea that children within our own community don't have enough to eat. We have been so blessed and it was good for them to learn and grow, even if it was only a tiny bit.
After it was over a few of the boys were worried that Grandma didn't get anything for her birthday. No tangible gifts from us. It provided another opportunity to talk about how losing ourselves in service is a wonderful gift. They are still not sure that is how they want to spend their own birthdays, but the example is set and they talked about how much they love the service projects that happen at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
These kinds of projects have been happening their entire lives. They are growing up with a wonderful legacy of service and faith. It made me think about all the different projects that have happened over the years and I am humbled by the experiences they are learning.
My youngest niece. She is a beauty and slept through all the noise. She is amazing.
My brother purchased too many pudding cups so the children all sat down for a little contest after all the bags were filled.
It was a little scary how fast my brother inhaled his pudding. The children loved it.
No spoons were allowed so there were quite a few messy faces.
"For some, serving or ministering one by one, following the Savior’s example, doesn’t come easily. But with practice, each of us can become more like the Savior as we serve God’s children." (Linda K. Burton, "First Observe, Then Serve", November 2012 Ensign)
We filled the back of the suburban and the truck with the completed kits. It was fun to see the expressions as we dropped off all the kits. Thank you Mom for helping us think about others and for the fun birthday cake. Happy Birthday. We love you!