The holiday season is the time of year when we hear about people doing kind things. Caring acts happen all year long, and are rarely recognized. As a Mom trying to raise children, I am trying to teach them to be kind to others “just because”. Some of the conversations we have about this can be funny.
We have an elderly woman in our neighborhood that uses wood for her heat as much as she can to save on her electric bill. When we have a big storm, there are lots of branches that come down from the trees into our yard. The children and I gather them up into boxes and take them to her. It’s a lot of work. At first they wanted to know who was going to pay us for this. I explained that we were doing a “good deed”. Since we didn’t live near our Grandma and Grandpa, we were doing it for someone else’s Grandma. It took a long time for that one to sink in.
My Mother had a neighbor who is an author. When she and her husband were moving to assisted living, she had a lot of books that she couldn’t keep. The local school wasn’t interested. Our middle school had recently opened and had few books in its library. I offered to come get the books and bring them back (two hour drive each way). She had hundreds of books to donate. My children carried them up and down the steps in her house and we packed my van full!
We sorted the books on my dining room table. Some titles had quite a few copies, some had only a few. I had no idea how many books she had written over the years. She had everything from children’s books to adult’s books, with the concentration on books for adolescents. There are several series of books. One of them had entertained my children during their elementary years.
The librarian was astonished when school started. They distributed them throughout the school system here. A few ended up at the local library. My children got credit towards their community service in boy scouts. The author got some nice letters from school children.What did I get out of all of this? I got a feeling that I had improved my community and taught my kids how to volunteer. We kept the rest of the books in the series that we hadn’t finished. I also got a lovely note from the author about how she appreciated the work I had done.