This past year, our little family of four has volunteered with over 40 non-profit organizations in over 20 states. Our very first project was with The Giving Tree in our hometown of Tucson, AZ.
We served a special dessert to the homeless at a weekly gathering called Project F.E.E.D. - yogurt parfaits! We packed 2 plastic tubs of plain mountain high yogurt, a box of granola, a bowl of fresh fruit [diced apples, oranges, bananas, and raspberries], clear plastic party glasses, and plastic spoons. Then, we layered the ingredients, added a dollop of whipped cream, and handed them out.
Re-watching that video takes me back to all of the emotions before we left. A year later, I still believe in volunteerism. I believe that individuals can make a difference. Most importantly, I believe that giving is most powerful when it happens in the context of relationships, not through random acts of kindness.
Today, I celebrate the uncelebrated. The weary mother. The caregiver to the elderly relative. The friend who remembers who you are when you've forgotten yourself. The persevering teacher who cares more than 40 hours per week. I salute you - In fact, I'd make you a parfait if I could.
I am participating in a compensated program by Plastics Make it Possible® in partnership with the American Chemistry Council and Ogilvy PR.
I have to tell you that this post inspired me to take my seven year old daughter out and show her the power of giving to the homeless. There is a homeless man who recently has been seen at the park we visit. My daughter noticed him. I asked her if she would like to bring him some dinner. She very enthusiastically said yes. At our grocery store visit that night, she picked out his meal, and we drove it over to him. She handed him the bag and said it was from her. The man gave her a very kind thank you. It is something she will never forget, and I hope she always stays the same compassionate, sensitive, sweet little young lady she is. Thank you for sharing your lovely post.
Just stopping in...miss your posts! Hope your pregnancy is coming along well and that the sickness has started to get better. Also hope you guys are settling back into your house and a more stable life!
Missing your sweet presence on your blog! Hoping you'll be feeling better again very soon.
I really need to focus on this with our girls more...thank you for the gentle reminder. My dream is to one day spend Thanksgiving serving families in need but to also do more for those we know and love...and those who love us.
My heart also loved this: "The friend who remembers who you are when you’ve forgotten yourself." I treasure those friends so much and have needed them a lot these past 2 years. I pray I can be one of those friends myself!
Oh yes... giving is so much more powerful in the context of relationship. I'm so thankful that I was raised in a giving family and that I have the joy of giving deep in my personality... I just hope I can pass that on to my little ones. I appreciate the journey you've taken this year - and the challenge you've given me to give more intentionally.
I'd make you a parfait too :) Hope you're starting to feel better.
And I would make you a parfait and a dinner...make that a few dinners while you are not feeling 100%. Hope you are well..missing you in the blogosphere and missing that you most likely won't make it down here! Ugh...BUT your family comes first! While you are using all of your energy to be the best child of God, wife and mother and making a new little one on top of it all, know that while you may be a bit more quiet online, you are not forgotten and remember that you are prayed for!
You are such an encouragement, Nini. Thank you - for everything.
We're hoping to plan a "West Coast Adventure" in 2012. YOU are most definitely on my "people to meet" list when we do. :)
I'm sure you and your family have made such differences in so many peoples lives. It's amazing.
Beautifully said. I also believe giving is the most powerful in the context of relationships. Random acts of kindness toward strangers is powerful also, of course, as we know. I've been thinking about you and praying your pregnancy is going well, you're coming out of the morning sickness phase.
And I would gladly eat it! :)
Love what you said about giving in the context of relationships! Excited for you all as you settle back into a place where you can plant your roots deeper.