Growing up, I was very lucky. I had two hard working parents, a home to live in, food on the table and clothes. We went on road trips, did activities and never wanted for anything.
Now that I am a parent, I try and do the same for my family and we are indeed very lucky in the same way. We have so much and often I think we have more than we need.
I think about the fact that the kids don’t actually realize how lucky they are. They don’t understand that this isn’t how life is for many people. There are too many people out there who don’t even have the basic necessities for life and we have more than enough.
For the longest time, I have been wanting to show and teach the kids that there are many things we can do to help others.
Last month, I finally took the first step. Even though I’ve been talking to the kids about it, I think showing them and taking action can be more impactful and meaningful.
On the morning of November 20, our family went to the First United Church in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver to volunteer and serve a lunch with Peace Meal (formerly known as Feed the Hungry.)
The four of us joined many other volunteers to serve the more than 150 people who came through the door for a homemade lunch, coffee, juice and dessert.
First we stood at the door to welcome everyone in. It brought a lot of smiles to people’s faces as they walked through the doors, to have two little children greet them with smiles on their faces.
Then after the meals were served, we all helped with clearing the dishes and cleaning up.
After we left, while we were driving home, we talked to the kids about what we had just done, why we had volunteered and how they had felt about it. At the ages of 5 and 7, I think they understood a little, but it will take more time, talking and involvement for them to truly understand and appreciate.
In the meanwhile, I am happy that we have taken the first step in teaching the kids, (and ourselves) about living a life or appreciation and helping others.