Sunday afternoon, we were out on a walk as a family. The boys and I were racing each other down the sidewalks having a terrific time. As we turned a corner in our neighborhood, we noticed that a house that was previously on “foreclosure” status had a mother and daughter working in the very overgrown yard.
We stopped and introduced ourselves. It was pretty clear that the work that they were doing was overwhelming. They had just bought the house and didn’t even have electricity in the house going.
Me: Would you guys like some help cleaning the yard?
Her (hesitating): Um, sure, if you don’t mind.
My husband and the boys stayed to start cleaning, and I went home to bring back our yard tools. We started raking, pulling weeks, cutting overgrowth, bagging it all, and getting to know each other.
Activities like this are great service projects for kids. The kids were doing all the chores that the adults were doing. Hand in hand, we started bagging all the debris. In no time at all, we had 4 GINORMOUS bags filled (I could be wrong, but I thought they were 50 gallon bags).
And, then, the amazing thing about this day started: neighbors were noticing all this new activity at the “foreclosure” house. They starting coming over and introducing themselves. And, then, the neighbors and their kids starting joining in without being asked!
They brought over yard tools . . . even gas powered ones!
. . . with adults doing the same. We were there for several hours. We all started as strangers and left knowing more about one another and having done a great work in helping someone new to the neighborhood.
Caring for one another has an incredible domino effect. Those that witness kindness and service will turn around and repeat that behavior. The human capacity for reaching out and helping others is just incredible!