For my husband and I, it is very important to be actively involved in all our grandchildren’s lives. Some of our grandchildren live 15 minutes away, while others live 9 hours away. We enjoy hearing about their school and sports activities, milestones and achievements. We are concerned when they are ill and we rejoice when they are well. We hope we can offer encouragement and guidance when needed. Most of all, we hope our grandchildren feel the love we give them and that we are making lasting memories to share or a lifetime.
Last week, I sent a letter attached to a cardboard box and proposed an activity for all of us to do together. Included with the letter was a picture grocery list of non-perishable food items.
The letter read:
You might be wondering why Granddad and I sent you a brown box.
Let us explain. We get to do something TOGETHER – and Mommy and Daddy get to help us.
Thanksgiving is coming soon. Thanksgiving is different than most days. School is closed. Your Mommy and Daddy will not go to work. Families and friends get together to make and share delicious food at a special meal. And, families and friends will give thanks for each other. Granddad and Me love you and give thanks for you every day. We call it being blessed and thankful.
You are blessed in many ways:
You have lots of people who love you.
You have lots of people who keep you safe.
You have a home to play and sleep.
You have food to eat when you are hungry.
Sadly, there are people including children who do not always have food to eat when they are hungry.
There is something we can do TOGETHER to help them. Would you like to help?
Thank you. We knew you would say yes. We want to help, too.
In the envelope is a shopping list. Mommy and Daddy will take you to the grocery store to get the food on the list. You can circle or X the food as you put them in the BOX. We’re going to go to the grocery store, too. We’re going to buy the same kind of food and put in our own box.
Then, we are going to take the food in the box and give it away. Mommy and Daddy can help you decide where to take the food. You might have free food box locations in your neighborhood, or a place called a food pantrywhere people who are hungry can go to get the food or you can bring your box to Arkansas and we can give away the boxes of food together.
We can sharewith people who need food. We have much to share.
We can show people we care about them and don’t want them to be hungry. That’s called compassion.
You can use the colored paper to trace your hands, cut them out and write on them:
“I am thankful for YOU!”
(We know God made everyone and we are thankful.)
Put your paper hands in your box to give with the food.
Granddad and I are sending our paper hands to you to remind you we are thankful for both of you.
Granddad and I are proud of you for helping. We look forward to seeing you soon.
For me, this is more than just an exercise or one additional thing to do during this busy time of year. It’s modeling the behavior of caring for others while planting the seeds of compassion to grow and show love for others.
Below are some additional tips and suggestions if you would like to create a “Give and Share” experience.
- For my grandchildren who live near us, I personally delivered the package.
- I would suggest for older children, having them save money to purchase food items.
- I sent pictures to my grandchildren of me and my husband purchasing the same food items in our local grocery store.
- I requested pictures of my grandchildren on their shopping trip. I will make them a “Give and Share” picture book for a lasting memory and REMINDER.