The girls had an idea about how they could serve others for Valentine's Day that was inspired by the event they went to a few weeks back. Their plan developed over the course of an hour car ride and involved making valentines with friends for refugees and elderly folks and at first my inclination was to tell them all the reasons why we did not have enough time to pull it off, or why it might not work out, or worry it was more trouble than it was worth. But the more we talked the more I realized this was a kid sized idea that I needed to fully back. I needed to show my girls I believed in them and their ideas and in using their gifts to make the world a better place. We prayed about it, made plans to stop by a rehabilitation center near us, and I promised to call World Relief to ask what we could do to help. Within 24 hours we had plans to have a party to make valentines for the 85 cards we would need and World Relief let us know the current needs for winter coats and gear. It all came together and I was so proud of the girls and how excited they were. They decided where to shop, what to get (with a little input bc I had to nix a few requests like giant heart blow up thingys), and who to invite. Even on short notice over 20 kids and many parents joined us to make cards and bring donations of winter gear and money for World Relief Dupage. It was a really small thing but it was an opportunity for my girls to see that when God speaks to them about loving others He will make a way!! It was awesome to see everyone come together to Share the Love.
Thanks to Jamie at Engelhardt photography for making some images of the festivities because I had a baby on my hip and one hand in glue most of the night.
A few friends came late but I had to capture their sweet valentines
The Share the Love crew dropping off the winter gear donations and check at World Relief Dupage the next day.
We are never too young to serve- this was the girl's guiding verse for their Share the Love Party!
We made little goodie bags for kids in an afterschool program run by volunteers from World Relief at a school not far from us. Kids loving on kids. It was pretty awesome and we had a blast on our adventure!
Then a few days later we headed to Bria Center to hand out hugs and cards to some of the residents.
Annikah took these 2 images during our adventure:
This woman was so touched by her card that she got teary and it really impacted Annikah. She is learning that love changes things. This was such a small thing but we decided we will do it again next year and see what God does! We are learning together that because God has first shown us love we have a responsibility to show love an concern for others. I hope and pray for my kids that as they grow they see and recognize Jesus in everyone they meet.
"You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving." -Robert Louis Stevenson