Tales of destruction from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have dominated the news cycle over the past couple of weeks. Our hearts are broken as we hear stories of those who have lost homes and loved ones in the path of these violent storms. But there is a secondary group of stories that inevitably comes out of these tragedies. The stories of the hometown heroes who risk life and limb to save their neighbors. These stories capture our hearts, and renew hope in the human spirit. Gabrielle, from the iFamily Mom and Dad Squad is here to show us why giving back is so important.
Giving Back in the Wake of Tragedy
While my family and I cannot afford to go to coastal regions and help with the clean-up efforts, there are things we can do here in our own hometown to be a blessing to our friends and neighbors who are down on their luck. Here are few ideas you might want to try.
Volunteering at a local food pantry
Local pantries are always look for groups to help them serve. They are also looking for volunteers to help them clean and organize their pantries. Even the little ones can help. When my daughter was about four, she was given the job of passing out salt and pepper in the dining room of one of the local shelters. She felt like she had the most important job in the world, and it gave the residents a good chuckle to see her tiny little hands handing them their condiments.
Ronald McDonald House
This charity houses families whose loved ones are being treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital. These families are often strapped for cash as they have to cover medical costs and transportation. Many of these families are from out-of-state. As such, the Ronald McDonald House is usually looking for groups who are willing to cook and serve families who are temporarily housed in their facilities. This can be costly, as several families are housed in each unit. Each volunteer group is responsible for providing the meal, as well as preparing the meal and cleaning up after. It is best to do this activity with a larger group. I recommend joining with a social or church group when taking on this endeavor.
Donating Toys to a Women’s Shelter
Women who leave abusive homes often leave home with nothing but their children and the clothes on their backs. The children, who are already facing a traumatic situation, have little to comfort them. This is when your child’s barely and rarely touched toys come in handy. That old teddy bear that’s been sitting on the bookshelf untouched for the last six months could provide a hug to some child in desperate need of unconditional love.
Shirley Chisholm, a personal hero of mine, said, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” Teaching our children to serve others will undoubtedly impact them. Serving with our children will undoubtedly impact the world, even if it is just a small corner of it.
From iFamily to Yours,