Project 3: School Supplies for the Homeless

Well, this weekend did not turn out exactly as planned on the service project front.  I had the original project three all planned out for Saturday morning.  Friday night, I went and purchased the necessary supplies, and we were ready to go.  Unfortunately, the original project three involved an outdoor activity and we got rain for the first time in what seems like eternity.  Although our project was cancelled for the day, we were very thankful for the much-needed rain. 

Abby was disappointed that our project was cancelled (and that I was not willing to do an outside project in the afternoon with the heat), so I was determined to come up with an alternative idea that we could squeeze in over the weekend. 

The idea for project three came to me as I was flipping through the bulletin at church this morning.  Every week, our bulletin includes a list of about four or five different charities that the church supports and the items requested for the month.  The needed items are generally small, like toiletries.  It hit me that we have been attending King of Glory for over five and a half years, and I have never once donated the needed items on the list.  My need for a new project gave me the perfect opportunity to change that! 

One of the charities that our church supports is Family Gateway.  I’ve heard the term “Family Gateway” hundreds of times since I joined the church, but today was the first day I actually took the time to learn about it.  It’s a wonderful organization that helps homeless families with children.  This month, they need school supplies.  So, Abby and I went shopping.  I explained to her what homeless means and that we were going shopping for school supplies for homeless children who could not afford the supplies.  She took it very seriously, picking out exactly the backpack that she thought was best for some little girl out there who might need it.

Abby knew someone would love a princess backpack

I was really surprised that Abby never begged to get the princess backpack for herself.  (We went to Disneyland this summer, and ever since it has been all princesses, all the time at our house!)  She really seemed to understand that we were not shopping for her – we were shopping for children who really needed it.

Because we did not have a real “list” of the needed supplies, we just bought a good mix of supplies we knew every little kid would need.  When we got home, Abby loaded them up into the backpack and we labeled it for Family Gateway. 

All in all, I would say project three was another success.  After just a few projects, I can already see the positive effect it is having on Abby.  She regularly asks me what special project we are going to do next, and she is always suggesting donating toys or books or shoes that don’t fit to someone who needs it.  (If you can’t tell, we are in the midst of a purge and donate project, to be featured at a later time.)  I look forward to watching her grow as we continue this journey together!

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