I have always liked the thought of kids giving a helping hand to other kids. When we decided to homeschool, I began to look for opportunities where we could serve as a family. People need help in many different ways, so we never lack a place to give a hand.
What we started with our older son has now trickled down to our younger son. One of our favorite places to serve is The Ronald McDonald House. We go to bake cookies or some other treat that will then be shared with the guests. It is their home away from home anywhere from a few weeks to a few months in a time when they need some normal. Their spark of joy draws us back over and over again.
Watching my kids get a chance to help others really inspired me to coordinate similar opportunities for other kids to lend a hand. Within our homeschool community, I set up different events where kids can help other kids in need. Close to Christmas, we stuff stockings for teenagers in the foster care system and at the beginning of the school year, we help with backpack buddies for the students. We live near a military base and there are always opportunities to help those serving our country. Children from those families may be without a Mom or a Dad for long periods of time, and it brings perspective for our kids when helping those families.
Even now, with our country and our world going through this difficult time, our students are helping Operation Gratitude. There is an urgent need for letters, not only for our deployed troops, but for our first responders and medical personnel on the frontlines taking care of people in our country.
I would encourage every family to serve in some way. You can start with your own family or right outside your front door in your own neighborhood. You can go online and find out the different needs in your cities, especially now. It brings so much joy, but more than that, we can make a difference one hand at a time.