Learning to Serve Others

When we made the decision to homeschool, I had a list of things I wanted to do.

That list included things like “Visit a nursing home once a week” and “Bake cookies and take to elderly neighbors and family.”

Well folks, we are in our 9th month of homeschooling and unfortunately, we have yet to do either of the items listed above. Not even once.

I still wish we did these things and occasionally, I’ll say we are going to do them “this week.”

But we never do…

I really want my kids to have a heart for serving others. I want them to jump at the chance to help someone or to spend time with people who need a friend.

We all know that kids learn from example and unfortunately, I am not a person who enjoys “serving” others. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am very selfish. Maybe I just haven’t found something that makes me “click” but I always end up feeling awkward and judgmental.

A few years ago, a lady from our church approached my mom about volunteering at our local Crosslines food bank. She obliged and started helping out every week. Soon, me and the girls were dedicated to helping every Thursday as well. We continued to volunteer there until I was put on bed rest while pregnant with Bear. The girls were in school and I (obviously) couldn’t help from my bed.

Once we decided to homeschool, they were excited that they would be able to volunteer every week, all year long.

I still don’t get to go help out since Bear is like a tornado, and I’d prefer not to pick up 9,000 cans of green beans off the floor all afternoon.

I feel like Crosslines has been the perfect place to volunteer for our family. The kids get to help fill the food boxes and hand them out to the people who need a little help.
On more than one occasion, they’ve seen kids from school. We use these times as good learning lessons. We talk about how sometimes people who work hard just need a little help during difficult times. We talk about how, even though the kids appear to have everything they need, they may actually come from struggling families and may not only need food but also a friend. Most of all, we learn to keep our loud mouths shut and not tell others about who was seen getting a food box.

Seeing people, from all walks of life, who have humbled themselves enough to ask for help is touching.
Yes, there are people who drive WAY nicer cars than we do who get a food box. And just because they drive a nice car, doesn’t mean they don’t need help.  You never know who has just been fired from their job, who has  left their home to come and stay with their dying mother or who has  lost their husband, who was the only source of income.

 We’ve met a couple of  70 year old ladies who live down by the creek, in their car. (I don’t think they were parked near Chris Farley’s van, down by the river.) We’ve met recovering addicts single moms, injured fathers and people who have just hit a standstill in their life and need some help.

Just seeing people from all different walks of life, and having the opportunity to visit with them has made a huge difference in our lives.

I took my kids to Crosslines, hoping to teach them hard work and to learn to serve others. Not only do we learn  math, manners and organization skills but more importantly, we learn compassion.

And I think that is one thing that we all could use a little bit more of. 


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