Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank


Today I'm joining Andrea at Momfessionals for her Show and Tell Tuesdays.  I was beyond excited when I found out today's topic was to share about a mission trip or service opportunity you are apart of!

Six years ago, something stirred inside me.  Our community has needs and I wanted to help.  I wanted our kids to help.  But how?  My husband is on the board at our local food bank and I had volunteered with him a couple of times.  The whole time I'm helping I can't help but think our kids would LOVE to do this!  I reached out to the food bank and initially was told no.  There was just too much liability (something about large warehouses, huge machinery, and occasional prisoners doing community service).  After a little (ok, a lot!) of begging, we hosted our first group of parents and kids to volunteer a couple of hours filling bags of food to be passed out at local schools.  These bags of food would help kids make it through the weekend - when many kids go without food. 

While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
This is our very first group of volunteers!  Many of these kiddos have helped us for years!
The kids did amazing that first week!  After talking with the food bank, we were good to go for the rest of the summer - and for every summer since!  

Every other week during the summer, I send out an email letting friends know when we'll be there.  It was like the movie Field of Dreams - "if you build it, they will come"!  Week after week, families would come to help. (And, just in case you are wondering about the liability - all kiddos must be accompanied by an adult at all times, we gave lots of warnings about machinery, and we scheduled our shifts around times when prisoners were working.)
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
Moms and kids working together to help others - LOVE!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bankWhile I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
Colby was 8 years old and Holden was 5 years old when they started helping.  Oh my, they were babies!!!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
One of their favorite things to do was organize the cereal!  :)
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
our groups kept getting bigger and bigger!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
You are never too little to help!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
When we first started, we were out in the main warehouse.  Did I mention we volunteered in the summer?  
In Texas?!  It was always SO H-O-T but the kids (rarely!) complained.  They were good about taking frequent fan breaks!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
Around and around they would go filling their bags with food!  It's kind of like trick-or-treating!  :)
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
Breaking down the boxes is always a sought after job!  Kids will use any means necessary to make boxes flat!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
I was pregnant with Hope our first summer.  During our second summer, she would hang out in her stroller and oversee the operation! #ohtherolls!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
Thankfully we also moved into an air conditioned room the second year!  #itsthelittlethings!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
It's not all work!  These kiddos were taking a little break in the broken down box box!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
Each summer the kids fill hundreds of these bags that go directly back into our community as either backpack bags for elementary aged kiddos or senior bags for home bound senior citizens.
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
When Hope got a little older, she didn't want to be left in the stroller - she wanted to help too!  But, since she couldn't reach the table, I wore her and she would grab things and put in the bag.  She felt SO big!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
In addition to bagging food, we also helped out in other ways.  The food bank had received a very generous donation of pinto beans but needed our help to put them in to smaller bags.
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
These girls loved helping to highlight USDA forms.
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
No one is spared from helping out!  :)
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
Our numbers started getting so big that we had to scale back the number of families that could help.  It broke my heart to turn people away form helping but the room just wasn't big enough for all of us.  Our food bank is undergoing an expansion project so hopefully in the future we'll have plenty of space for as many that want to help!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
Volunteering is WAY more fun with friends!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
Groups occasionally helped with family boxes.  These are a bit harder to manage since each box has approx. 40 pounds of food in it but these kids completed 216 family boxes in less than two hours!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
Smiles like this while serving - yes, please!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
The kids who were so small six years ago are now helping the younger kids!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
These girls were Hope's age when they started volunteering at the food bank!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
It's not all work!  We have lots of fun too!
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
While I'm Waiting...Show & Tell Tuesday - summers at the food bank
So, why do I love summers at the food bank?  Because over the last six years, countless families have joined us when they could have been doing anything else.  Because I can watch kids get excited about giving back to our community.  Because it shows our kids that they can make a difference!  

And, in case you are wondering how much kids can do just by helping out a few days each summer - these kids have logged over 1,500 service hours.  And, they do a LOT of work during this time - over 5,600 backpack bags made, more than 6,600 senior bags completed, over 750 family boxes packed, more than 500 pounds of food sorted, AND they bagged over 2,800 pounds of pinto beans.  Kids giving back ROCKS!

Just in case you are wondering how to get started...  First, find your passion.  For us it is the food bank.  For your family it might be the animal shelter or visiting a nursing home. Whatever it is - schedule time for it.  If you make serving others a priority, it won't get bumped to the bottom of the list.  Schedule time to volunteer like you schedule a doctor's appointment, soccer practice, or a dance class.  If it's important to you, you'll make time for it.  And, if your kids see that it's important to you, it will be important to them too!

Thank you, Andrea, for the opportunity to Show and Tell about my most favorite service project.  I can't wait to read all the other posts!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Gig 'em and God bless! 
Holly

I'm excited to join Shelly again this week for our Attitude of Gratitude challenge and we would love for you to join us too!  So, what is an Attitude of Gratitude challenge?  It's intentionally choosing to look for the good.  See the good, do good, BE the good!  We hope you will consider joining us each Thursday in the month of November and link up your posts on what you are thankful for.  

and I would love for you to join me tomorrow at the Waiting on...Wednesday link-up - a place where you can link up what you are waiting on, going through, making, anything - as long as it's family-friendly!  :)  It will be open through Saturday.
While I'm Waiting...Waiting on...Wednesday link-up
and you can check my FAVORITE link-ups page to see where else I'm linking up!

12 comments:

  1. Love this story and all the pics of the kids helping! This is a great testimony and such great modeling for the kids who played the lead roles in this! You've taught them so much in this process of helping and having fun. Thanks for this!!
    Blessing on you!
    Pam

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Pam! I love how much the kids love helping out! Already looking forward to next summer!

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  2. I'm so impressed with your efforts at the food bank -- and with having your kids participate. You are such a good mother! I love all of the pictures you shared. Keep up your great work -- both serving the community and raising your children.

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    1. Thank you so much, Nina, but I really can't take any credit! These kiddos are amazing and I'm so thankful their moms and dads will bring them to help us. I love, love, love food bank days!

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  3. Train up a child...you have done more than imagined! I get so inspired whenever I read your post. I don't know how you do it all, but God bless you!

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    1. I use to get super overwhelmed. So many needs. And then I wouldn't do anything at all. But then I found joy when I could support those things that meant the most to me. Just find one thing and run with it! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet words! I appreciate you so much!

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  4. Awesome!! Love your tip: " First, find your passion. For us it is the food bank. For your family it might be the animal shelter or visiting a nursing home. Whatever it is - schedule time for it. If you make serving others a priority, it won't get bumped to the bottom of the list. Schedule time to volunteer like you schedule a doctor's appointment, soccer practice, or a dance class. If it's important to you, you'll make time for it. And, if your kids see that it's important to you, it will be important to them too!"

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    1. Thank you, Hilary! That really was the key for us!

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  5. You are the best! Six years is huge! You did find your passion and through that you have helped countless people. That food bank is very blessed to have such a great advocate like you! Keep up the great work :)

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    1. Thank you, JulieAnn! I hope we're still there helping six years from now and many more after that! Thank you so much for your sweet words! Hope you have a super day!

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  6. Such a great post and the pictures wonderful! thank you for linking with the #pinitparty

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    1. Thank you! It truly is the best part of our summer! Thanks for stopping by!

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