Monday, November 17, 2014

'tis the season for giving

Growing up, WeThree lived a short 30 minute drive away from our maternal grandparents. We spent many many hours with them over the years, whether it was getting together for a family dinner, spending a sick day on their couch sipping ginger ale or water or coke or orange juice, going to church on a Sunday morning, or spending the night on the "magic bed" when our parents were out for the night. It was always fun, no matter what we were doing, and I'm so thankful that we were able to do all of the things we did with them. But one of the best things they did with us, and I think they did it with all of the cousins (seven of us total), was offer us opportunities to give. My grandparents have long been involved with several organizations that give food to people who need it. My grandfather passed away back in 2009, but my Grama continues to volunteer at a local food bank one Friday every month, and has for the past thirty years. Needless to say, my grandparents have been and continue to be a huge inspiration for our whole family. My sisters and I joined them at the food bank as a group or individually on several occasions, and this past Friday, I was so glad to give my children one of the very same experiences that I had when I was a kid. 

Since Tommy was out of school on Friday and we were heading up to PA for wedding dress shopping with Carrie (!!), I decided to get on the road as soon as possible on Thursday afternoon. When I called my Grama to see if we could spend the morning with her on Friday, she told me it was her turn to work at the food bank and would we like to go with her? My answer came quickly and easily:  yes, absolutely.  

Although we've spent time talking to our children about how fortunate we are to have all that we have, and told them that there are people in the world and right here in our own town that don't have the things that we do, I think the best and most effective way to help them understand that concept is to show them. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to do just that. They both helped find food in the pantry, packed up the bags, and walked them up the stairs to give to the waiting recipients. Tommy even got to help carry some bags all the way up to the street. It was a great experience for both of them, and one that they thoroughly enjoyed, just like I did many years ago.

This won't be our last time volunteering at a food pantry. Now that we're home, I'm on the hunt for places for us to volunteer during the upcoming holidays and for many years to come. I'm looking forward to giving, and doing it as a family.

Love you, Grama!  Thanks for taking us along and showing the next generation how important it is to give.

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