My children and I tend to bring a trash bag with us whenever we go into the woods. Human access leads to trash being dumped. We have upped our game and started taking walks and hikes with the express intent of cleaning the world. It’s their idea and I think therapeutic: It’s a tangible something they can DO to affect the state of our world.
I have always known that kids aren’t stupid, they’re just young. Because of COVID-19, kids across the country, and around the world, are out of school with a lot of free time on their hands. It’s not surprising that they are coming up with a lot of ideas about how to affect positive change in the world they will inherit. With the support of adults around them, they are working to make change happen. Big or small, I know their efforts are the right thing to do, for them and the people they serve. Follow the hyperlinks to articles for more detail on each story.
This young woman began hosting bake sales to raise money for Parkinson’s disease research. Inspired by a family who suffers from the horrible disease, she’s working to make sure others can have more effective treatments.
These Girl Scouts are collecting supplies to donate to the local animal shelter. They had plans to complete a group service project, but COVID-19 meant that they had to get creative with their project.
This young man started providing PPE to his community as an Eagle-scout project. He just couldn’t sit by doing nothing when he knew there were shortages happening.
I’m so proud of these young people getting out there to serve their communities despite the challenges of the pandemic. I look forward to the thoughts they will have about the world after this experience. Are you getting out to serve in your area? Comment below with your ideas!
I am reminded daily of my past. It crops up in little ways but sometimes hits me like… well, like a school bus.
As a service to families in our area during the pandemic shutdown, our local school district has been delivering meals for our kids. Every couple of days each of them receives a bag of breakfast foods, a bag of lunch foods, and a few cartons of milk and juice. We have appreciated it. It has helped us to shop less, relax more, and the kids have enjoyed both the delivery and the individually packed snacks that are unusual in our house.
Today, the system changed so that instead of volunteers, the bus drivers began to deliver the meals. It was a great way to ensure delivery to all students, and keep the bus drivers driving and paid.
I was very triggered by what happened.
The kids were all anxiously waiting in our window seat as we heard the beeping of a bus outside. We saw a school bus pull up outside our house and park. The driver got out, opened the door to reveal bagged lunches intended for kids, and checked his list. He then shut the door, drove the bus around our street for a few minutes, delivered meals across the street, and then left.
We are fine, we have food enough, and I’m sure it will get sorted. It was just crushing for me that the kids stood watching in anticipation and then watched the bus drive away.
Their disappointment was nothing compared to the memory that it triggered for me. They accepted my reassuring words that things would be sorted out. They trust me to make sure that they have food. Theirs was the mild disappointment of delayed surprises.
For me, there is very little that compares to the childhood trauma of being so very hungry and watching other people eat when I was a kid. Trained to never tell anyone I was hungry I would sit silently while I could see and smell food just feet from me. I sometimes watched people throw food away after taking only one bite. Like a trained dog, I would hold perfectly still and silent. That all came back as I watched the bus drive away today. I managed my own feelings by creating a meal for them from things we already had on hand, and by calling to have the mistake corrected. The transport dispatcher was very apologetic and promised the driver would be redirected to us as soon as he could. The kids didn’t even look up when I told them, they were fed and happy. I tried to take comfort from that.
We will be fine and I really don’t need anything, it was just a hard experience for me. It didn’t help that I hadn’t taken the time to eat breakfast, either.
Another piece of breaking the cycle is learning to take care of my needs before they are overdue.