Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Service Event Recap

~Read this first~
On Saturday I hosted my service event, "Show Somebunny You Love Them." To be honest, I'm struggling with how to recap the day because it exceeded my expectations! I was beyond thrilled with the turn out. I'm hesitant to write about everything because I don't want to leave any details out so I'm just going to let the pictures do the talking.

About 50 children and their parents spent some of their afternoon with us, including a Daisy Troop. As you walked in, you were greeted at the registration table. You signed in and got a name tag. Once you were registered, you went to the crafting room. Each child got to choose to decorate their bag with one of three different bag designs: a bunny, flower or coloring sheets in Easter themes.

This is one example of how the flower bag looked.  Isn't it cute? It's my favorite.

There were volunteers at each table showing the kiddos how to decorate the bag.  Once the bag was complete, the child received a shopping list for either a little girl, little boy, teen girl, teen boy or adult woman. Each list was different and dictated what "stations" the children shopped at. For example, if you had a little boy list you would not stop at the cosmetic table. Makes sense, right?

The shopping lists were designed to be easy for kids to follow and understand on their own with minimal help from their parents.

The shopping stations were set up in rows so that the kiddos could go from station to station very easily.

Check out the toy table; we collected over 2,400 items total!

Lots of shoppers, shopping!

Aidan had such an awesome time! He made a total of nine bags. One little girl made 21 bags!

I worked at the "oral care" and "shower item" table. Once the child picked items to satisfy the requirements of their list, they received a stamp on their shopping list so that the person working at the "check out" knew they had visited every station.

When a child visited each station, the goal was to get them to think outside of the box. For example, when Aidan stopped at my station and had a little girl list he grabbed a Transformers toothbrush. Maybe some little girls DO like Transformers but I encouraged him to think about what a little girl might want versus what HE would want. I think this was challenging for some kids but the idea behind this project was to put kids in a situation that would encourage talking about helping others and allowing them to think about what children their age might want or need when they don't have much of anything.

I absolutely could NOT have done this without my dear friend Mel. She is simply amazing!! She thought of all the bag designs and many of the other little details. We were able to make a total of 238 bags AND we still had some individual donations left over which will also go to The Hope Center.

Aidan with another bag done... the day after our event, Aidan said to me "Thank you Mom for inviting me and letting me come and help. I had a really fun time."  I have no words. NO words. This boy makes me so happy.

In addition to the event itself we hosted a bake sale. All proceeds went directly to The Hope Center. We raised an additional $140 JUST from baked goodies! I thought that was amazing!

When I think about all of the problems in the world, hunger, poverty, the exploitation of children to name a few, it seems like there are so many negatives and nothing positive. It feels impossible to make a difference. If we all thought like that though, nobody would do anything and nothing would change. Although individual efforts may not seem like a lot, they add up and they DO make a difference. Just look at what we were able to do. I am really at a loss for words when trying to express my gratitude to those that helped make this possible. This event would not have been successful without the help of my moms group, all of the volunteers, the people who donated items, those who baked for the bake sale and Mel. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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