Well, we are officially three-quarters of the way through our year of service! After a pretty lazy month of March, Abby and I stepped up our game in April and completed four projects.
Our first project stemmed from the tornadoes that ravaged North Texas early in the month. When tornadoes struck other parts of the country earlier in the year, I looked for tangible ways we could help but never found anything. Unfortunately, the tornadoes in our own area gave us the opportunity to dive in to a tornado relief project. Abby and I purchased items needed for the relief effort and dropped them off at a church in Forney that was collecting items. After dropping off our donations, I took Abby over to the area affected by the tornadoes so she could truly understand why our donations were needed. What we saw was shocking and life-changing for me. I don’t think I will ever forget this project.
Our next project was one dreamed up solely by Abby. She came up with the idea to make gifts for the church nursery workers to take on Easter Sunday. She had me contact the head of the nursery so we would be sure how many we needed, and she wasn’t about to let me leave the house without those gifts on Easter morning! Here are the goodies we made…
Next, Abby and I selected a child to sponsor through World Vision. Abby picked out an adorable four-year-old girl from the Congo named Belinda. Abby has been so sweet in remembering Belinda. Several times she’s come up to me and said, “We can’t forget about Belinda!” and then she’ll rush to color a picture or something like that for Belinda. When we cleaned out our playroom the other day, Abby wanted to give so many things she found to Belinda. (Unfortunately, the Congo won’t allow us to send anything other than a 9×6 envelope, so we’re limited in the goodies we can send her.) Abby is begging me to take her to buy colored pencils (using her giving bank money) to send to Belinda. Hopefully this weekend we’ll have a chance to do that. I look forward to when the packet from World Vision arrives so we can put a picture of Belinda up in our house (most likely on Abby’s bulletin board) as a constant reminder.
Our final project for the month (and project number 40 overall!) was to volunteer with Buddy League, a baseball program for special needs children started by a family friend. Abby volunteered as a “buddy.” The program pairs “buddies” with special needs children to help them play the game. I will admit that Abby was probably too young for this project, so she wasn’t particularly helpful (or helpful at all!) as a buddy. But, it’s never too early to introduce kids to this type of activity. It will probably be a few more years before Abby can truly participate as a buddy, but we will certainly have her do that in the future.
Overall, I’d say April was a great month of service for us!