I know you’ve heard it. The complaint ranks right up there with:
“Are we there yet?
“Mom, he is sitting on my side of the couch!”
“She’s looking at me!”
Here it is, the beloved phrase that makes our skin crawl:
“Mom, I’m bored.”
It is a frustrating phrase that is liable to be said continuously through the school break. Even with all the resources our kids have, they often turn to their parents to entertain them. Why? Well, maybe they are used to the constant pace of the school day, maybe they want something new to do, or maybe they want to connect with us. In any case:
This summer, THIS SUMMER, let’s kick that phrase to the curb by getting our kids involved in acts of kindness to beat the boredom.
Why Acts of Kindness?
1. When kids are active in completing acts of kindness, they are kinder to one another. Happier kids, YES! YES!
2. Completing acts of kindness is good for our health, like physical health, as well as mental and emotional health!
3. Kids involved in acts of kindness are working on reinforcing academic skills, and they don’t even know it. (Yes, writing that sweet thank you note to the firefighters is a great way to teach your kids to be kind and to keep kids writing during school break.)
4. Kids involved in helping others are engaged. In other words, they are not BORED!
5. When kids are involved with helping others, they recognize the true need that others have and develop gratitude, which fights the entitlement we find in our kids.
Completing acts of kindness with our kids brings benefits in so many ways and can be as simple as holding the door for someone or sending a thoughtful drawing or note. Along with those simple acts of kindness, our families can help with the needs in our communities. Organizations need our help to meet the needs of those that are struggling.
Focus On Needs in Our Community: Hope Supply
One day when my oldest son was sick and at home, I happened to come across a donation form for a homeless shelter. And, all of a sudden I was hit with the question:
Where do kids that are homeless go when they are sick?
Do you know? I didn’t.
Since then, my family has had the opportunity to work with several shelters and really enjoy working with Hope Supply, an organization in the Dallas area that provides resources to kids that are homeless. When a family enters a homeless shelter, Hope Supply steps up to provide resources for them. As you can imagine, holiday time and back to school time are busy for them. But, what about now?
A couple of years ago, I took a tour of Hope Supply’s new location and talked with the Program Director, Sam Mattox. Imagine a huge warehouse full of diapers, uniforms, hygiene kits, and bedding. And then listen to Mr. Mattox say:
“We are totally out of size 5 diapers and are very short of training pants for size 4 and 5.”
Hope Supply doesn’t have all the resources as it needs to meet the growing needs of children that are homeless. Families that are homeless are the largest section of the homeless population, and it continues to grow.
“How long will that section of diapers last?” I asked Mr. Mattox as I pointed to a huge tower of diapers (way more than I ever saw at Costco at once).
“We’ll distribute that in under a week. We’ve had to take on additional storage to have enough supplies on hand to be ready when the kids need it.”
I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it is to have to tell a shelter that there are no diapers or that they don’t have enough formula to help a mom that is desperately trying to provide for her kids.
How Can Our Kids Help?
When I asked Mr. Mattox what was needed, he really stressed back to school items. I was surprised. I was thinking more about sunblock because that’s what my kids need right now as they get ready to enter into swim season. “Back to school supplies?”
He can already forecast that Hope Supply needs to start getting supplies now as it is likely the organization won’t have enough to distribute to meet the growing need when school starts in August. And, he hopes to be able to provide continual support for kids when their uniform gets holes, they outgrow their school clothes, or they need to restock their school supplies.
This summer, challenge your family to take on needs in the community and complete acts of kindness.
Quick Act of Kindness: When out shopping with your kids, talk to them about those that are homeless. “How do kids that are homeless have enough money to buy food, clothes, and school supplies?” With your kids, pick up a couple of items at the store to donate.
Urgent Needs for Hope Supply:
- Diapers (All sizes except 3) (Larger sizes)
- Training Pants (Larger sizes)
- Baby Formula
- School Supplies
Family Activity: Gather the family and complete a larger project such as Hygiene Boxes for Teens
Activity to do with the Friends and Neighborhood Kids: Make homeless care kits that fit in a sock. Have them on hand in the glove compartment for when your kids see someone in need. Road trips are great times to make several and have on hand. Recruit friends and neighbors to gather for a project at your house. Each family is responsible for bringing in a set number of items and then use an assembly line to fill the socks.
Summer Project: Your kids can ask their friends and neighbors to help with donating needed items. We had a great success when our two boys took on this kind of project.
Take a Tour This Summer: Captain Hope’s Kids is hosting a Family Day on July 11th where you can tour the facility with your family, learn about what they do, and help complete a service project with your family.
Need More Ideas for Acts of Kindness?
5 Easy Acts of Kindness to Do WITH Your Kids from Pennies of Time.
Summer Calendar of Daily Acts of Kindness from Coffee Cups and Crayons.
#TalkJustice is a series from About Proximity sharing ideas that engage kids in real issues affecting our communities.