Little Hands. Big Heart.
Written by: Lauren D. Lloyd, Guest Blogger
I am raising a three year old daughter, LPL, which is terrifying. The world is a much scarier place than it used to be and as a result, young children regularly struggle with self-esteem issues. With the hope of offsetting some of the challenges she’ll face in the modern world, I’m teaching her values that will help her to be a better, stronger person. LPL is an only child, so I am particularly focused on helping her to understand the values of generosity and compassion. Last Christmas, we bought gifts for a child in need. LPL understood that we were helping someone else. We talked about how the little girl’s mommy and daddy weren’t able to buy presents for her and that she might even be hungry. That experience stuck with LPL. It helped her grasp the concept of sharing with others without asking for anything in return.
When LPL’s birthday approached, she asked to have a party to celebrate with her friends. She just wanted her friends to eat cake and sing happy birthday, but we knew that they would show up with presents. Rather than say no gifts and have people still bring them, we asked LPL’s friends and family to bring food to the party so that she could make a donation to the local food pantry.
Her friends (and their parents) happily obliged. The kids brought bags of canned goods and talked about helping others. Because of their generosity, we were able to fill two large boxes and LPL dropped them off on the morning of her birthday. She loved sharing her birthday experience with the EECM Food Pantry and plans to make a donation next year too!