Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Family Service Morning

This Lent, I helped coordinate a Family Service Morning for our church and school community.   

The Family Service Morning is an event intended to bring families of all ages together to complete service projects that benefit our community.  T and I want very much to raise our kids with an appreciation of how serving and sacrificing for others is an integral part of the Christian faith.  I find, however, that it is difficult to find service-oriented activities that welcome children and toddlers.  This is part of why I consider the Family Service Morning to be such a wonderful Lenten opportunity.

As a family, we had been talking about and planning for the service morning for so long that the kids were seeped in anticipation for the big day.  The night before, E-Bear said, "I am so excited for the Service Morning tomorrow, I can hardly stand it!" To which G-Bear replied, "I am so excited, I can hardly speak!" At that point, I was hoping that I hadn't oversold the event to the kids.  As it turned out, they really were completely excited to get together with all their friends to accomplish helpful tasks.
Our service morning involved ten project stations:
We collected food from participating families for a neighborhood food shelf.

We unpacked and sorted diaper samples for Second Stork, an organization that donates them to expectant mothers.

We wrote letters to American soldiers for A Million Thanks.

We made greeting cards for People Incorporated, an organization that offers services to neighbors with mental illness.

We decorated coin boxes for the Philomena House, a free residence for expectant mothers.

We packed bags of rice for Neighborhood house, a local food shelf and assistance center.

We made sandwiches for the Dorothy Day Center, a local homeless shelter.

We tied fleece tie blankets for a local children's home.

We assembled Get Well Kits for a local shelter, full of food items for clients that are sick in isolation.

We compiled Birthday Bags for Keystone Services, full of birthday supplies for food shelf clients.

The morning was a huge success!

We enlisted Girl and Boy Scout troops, Student Council and school club groups to lead each station.  We invited parish and school families to join in, and the turn out was tremendous.

In just 90 minutes, we unpacked thousands of diapers, wrote dozens of letters, made dozens of greeting cards, decorated nearly 100 coin boxes, made nearly 700 sandwiches, tied a dozen fleece blankets, made 13 Get Well Boxes, and assembled 50 Birthday Bags.

My favorite part of the event was that volunteers of all ages were truly welcome and able to participate.  All of our projects truly met needs of real people within our own community.

At the end of the event, our volunteers delivered or distributed all the projects we had assembled or created to the benefitting organizations.  Our prayers go out to all the individuals that will be served or benefit from the efforts of all these sweet children and families.  

Happily Ever,
Queen B

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