It is now just about the end of September, and we have wrapped up our second month of projects. Two months in to our year-long project, I would say we are doing great! In September, we have completed seven more projects. Some of the projects have been more “preschool appropriate” than others, but I think they have all been great projects in one respect or another.
We started the month doing a project Abby came up with on her own. She hijacked our original project and turned it in to something completely different. Abby decided she wanted to make cards for her Grandma (my mom) and Gram (Rob’s mom) (Project #7). As I am sure you know, grandparents love getting something made by a grandchild! Here is a picture of Abby working diligently on her cards…
Our next project (which was actually supposed to be the first project of the month) was to send a care package to a solider (Project #8). We picked a soldier from anysoldier.com and bought snacks and toiletries to send to her. Abby enjoyed shopping for the goodies and insisted on sending goldfish to the soldier. This project also meant the need to discuss some pretty intense topics with a preschooler. I had to deal with explaining the military, war, etc. to a preschooler for the first time. It was a challenge, but I think Abby now understands – at least on some level – that soldiers sometimes have to leave their families and our country to protect us. I am hopeful that our soldier has received our package. I gave her my e-mail address, but to date I have not heard anything. Anysoldier.com said not to expect a response, but I would still love to get one. Here are the goodies we sent to the soldier:
Our next project, hosting a food drive for the National Day of Service (10th Anniversary of 9/11) was my favorite for the month (Project #9)! This project didn’t exactly turn out as I had hoped, as I had invited dozens of friends and really hoped to make it a huge event. Instead, it was just my family and one friend with two of her kids. Despite the small numbers, we had a great time and collected tons of food for our local food pantry. Here are Noah, Abby and Ethan with all the food we collected:
Project #10 was a spur of the moment decision designed really to raise awareness of a great event going for North Texas Giving Day. Hundreds of charitable organizations in the area were part of the event, and each $25+ donation was matched. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to empty out the coin jar and make a difference!
Our next project was one of Abby’s favorites – and it was super cheap and easy. We gave out silly bands to the other kids at the movies and to some kids at the playground (Project #11). If you don’t know what silly bands are, here you go:
Project #12 was a major accomplishment for me. I did something I never in a million years thought I would do – I donated blood. I have a pretty ridiculous phobia when it comes to needles, and sadly, I have passed out, thrown up, and generally spent hours in misery from needles in the past. When our church held a blood drive this month, I hesitated only briefly before signing up. Much to my surprise, donating blood was a piece of cake and I didn’t have the slightest hint of a negative symptom. I definitely plan to donate again and again – it feels great to save lives!
My last project this month is more of an ongoing project – run for a cause (Project #13). I signed up to be part of a five-man (actually, five-woman) relay team for the White Rock Marathon in December. This marathon benefits Scottish Rite Hospital, which is a great cause. I am currently about two and a half weeks into my training. Although I am not very confident that I can run the whole 5 mile leg without walking, I do know that I will finish and will enjoy getting in better shape by training. I will keep you all updated on my progress through the race!
Overall this month, my two favorite projects were the food drive and the silly bands. Abby and I have gone for walks since the food drive, and she often asks when we can knock on doors again asking for food for the food pantry. She still really seems to enjoy our projects and has never balked at any of the projects we have done. I try to give her choices and ideas so she can play a role in choosing our projects, and whenever she comes up with an idea, I jump on it.
Next month we have several fun projects planned. I have learned that sometimes fun project ideas pop up unexpectedly, so I am not going to be rigid with my plans. We will take the projects as they come! I intended to go to DFW Airport in September to Welcome Home a Hero. That is the program where people gather daily to welcome home soldiers who come through for R&R. I definitely hope to do this project in October. I would really love to have some friends join us for this project. We will get together to make posters and thank you cards and then go to the airport. If you are interested in joining us, please let me know! (If you live too far to meet at my house, you can just make your own posters/cards and meet us at the airport.)
Also, another thing I have learned by doing research for projects is that there are a huge number of non-profit organizations that I have never heard of that benefit great causes. If you know of an off-the-beaten-path non-profit that could use our help for a project, please let me know. I would love to help bring awareness to lesser-known organizations that are doing great things!