This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!
I believe that every child is born with their own inner light, and it is our responsibility and privilege as parents and teachers to help them discover that light, to nurture it, and encourage them to “let it shine” for the world! Last week my awesome teacher-brother and I got to guide 12 wonderful kids as they let their lights shine! In just 4 days of “GOOD DEEDS” CAMP, they helped many people and touched many hearts. May sincere hope is that our time together “sparked” a love of giving, helping, and sharing within these young children, and perhaps re-ignited that spark within the grow-ups and parents who witnessed their “100 Acts of Kindness”. Perhaps their example can inspire YOU to look for BIG and little ways to give to others each day, spreading a little kindness each day.
- Harry picked up “this heart” for Uncle Jake when he dropped it.
- Teddy guarded our “act of kindness” board throughout the week…
- Indie helped carry water outside for the “morning meeting”.
- Emma helped return the pitchers to the kitchen after the meeting.
- Rev. Paul at HIghlands Christian Church gave us lollipops!
- Addison gave a compliment to Audrey: “I like your blue sparkly nails.”
- Isaiah used kind friend words with Indigo.
- Megan apologized to a friend.
- Andrew listened politely to the story on the rug.
- Cooper helped Ellie choose the tiger mask when they were dressing up.
- Ellie shared marbles with Addison.
- The children sang “We Wish Him Well” for Cooper when he was sick.
- Andrew shared the train whistle.
- Megan made a bracelet for Ellie.
- The children donated boxes full of clothes and shoes for the White Rock Center of Hope the book “Those Shoes”…inspired to be “Shoe Fairies”! Read along with the story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCTaAX-vRXg
- The children made cards to deliver to the “Meals on Wheels” clients.
- Megan gave ME a sweet card!
- The children made cookies to share with neighbors and friends! Using my “World’s Greatest Cookie” recipe (the Quaker Oatmeal cookie recipe with butterscotch and chocolate chips instead of raisins – YUM!)
- Ethan immediately shared his cookies with me and Jake!
- Indie kindly shared her cookies with her housekeeper, Margarita.
- Indie and her mom were inspired to make and share more cookies with their neighbors.
- The children worked together to make a “Friendship Fruit Salad” for our snack!
- The children made a “friendship chain”, making wishes for their friends as they added the links…
- Lowry sang the Mr. Rogers song “You Are My Friend, You Are Special!” to the children as they looked at their own images in mirrors. Watch Mr. Rogers sing the song and feed the fish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98wVFsIt-MQ
- Jake read “Little Blue Truck” to the children and we shared ideas about what a friend is and does…
- Ethan’s mommy Kara stayed at my house with Ethan, Ellie, and “Hermie” the hermit crab for a little while so I could clean up the church after camp…
- The children delivered 50 meals for “Meals on BIG Wheels” to some elderly neighbors in Oak Cliff.
- Audrey complimented Mrs. LOVE on her nice home, and really brightened her day!
- Miss Kathy the bus driver helped us on and off the bus, and unloaded all the coolers for us!
- Whitney, Addison, and Ellie took turns pushing the elevator buttons and worked together to carry the food.
- Isaiah, audrey, Indigo, and Megan did not complain when we had to walk back along way to deliver one more meal.
- Meredith and Andrew (mom and dad to 2 campers) helped us deliver Meals on Wheels!
- Ellie, Megan, and Audrey held hands as they crossed the parking lot, and kept each other safe.
- Ethan was kind to switch seats with Andrew on the party bus.
- Emma discovered a sweet note in her lunch box written by her Mommy.
- Miss Lowry gave her lunch to Ethan who forgot his.
- Many of the children shared their lunches with Miss Lowry!
- Indigo gave Miss Lowry a goodbye hug.
- Andrew used kind words with a friend.
- After our whipped cream on the table snack (and practicing drawing peace signs and hearts in it with our yummy fingers), Isaiah helped to clean the tables!
- On Wednesday, the children made lots of nursing home residents smile as we delivered their sparkling and colorful paintings, serenading a small crowd as they finished up their lunches with our “Good Deeds” song, “You Are My Sunshine”, and “This Little Light of Mine”. (Jake had his ukulele!)
- On our way to the nursing home, I slowed down so I wouldn’t hits squirrel crossing the street. The kids told me this was a “good deed”. I do this one A LOT!
- The “Good Deeds” Campers delivered 15 overflowing bags of food supplies for “Feed Lake Highlands“!
- They helped unload and carry the sacks!
- The campers painted my car for the “field trip”! “Honk for little helpers!“
- My kids later washed it off for me…without me asking…in the rain…
- Cooper switched cars when another camp (yes, my daughter) was being inflexible!
- On our last day of camp, the campers raised $127.44 to help the homeless at The Stewpot – AWESOME! The Stewpot serves over 1,000 meals a day at The Bridge for $300. So that’s almost 40 meals for hungry folks!
- These boys scooped ice into our lemonade bucket.
- The children took turns mixing the lemonade.
- The kids made posters for the lemonade stand.
- LOTS of nice friends, family, and neighbors stopped by to donate money for the homeless.
- The children passed the “peace rock” around the circle taking deep breaths, and smiling as we shared peace with each friend singing “Peace Like a River” or the Mr. Rogers’ “We All Want Peace” song.
- I read “Because of You: a Book of Kindness”, as we tossed around a little Earth ball, reminding the kids that the world is a better place because of them. and that “A helping hand can change the world!”
- I taught them how to sign “friend”, “I love you”, “home”, and more…
- Megan said “good job” to Ellie, and Ellie wrote down this act of kindness herself:
- The children really practiced their manners throughout the week to share love. I taught them a song to help that I should have written a long time ago for my own kids! (to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?”)
Please and Thank you, please and thank you,
Don’t forget, don’t forget,
Excuse me and you’re welcome, I’m sorry, I forgive you,
Show respect, show respect.
- Jake made the kids laugh A LOT with his silly antics throughout the week – definitely a good deed to share laughter with someone…
- I passed out “magic pennies” to the kids as we sang “Love is Like a Magic Penny”…”Love is something when you give it away, you end up having more!” The kids were asked to find a good way to give away their shiny pennies.
- The children made “blessing bags” for the homeless folks we might see at intersections this summer with cardboard “help me” signs while driving around. They contain granola bars, water bottles, new socks, hand sanitizer, wipes, and a list of helpful resources for homeless in Dallas.
- Pastor Paul made copies for us of the “homeless resource” page since we forgot.
Acts of kindness sen and overheard on the playground:
- Megan gave neighbor Annabelle a flower.
- Addison gave Annabelle a sticker.
- Isaiah and Ethan talked about the rope trap on the playground and made an agreement.
- Uncle Jake helped the campers on the monkey bars.
- Friends showed concern when Ellie got hurt on the playground, Uncle Jake held her in his lap.
- Whitney helped carry the lunches inside.
- Uncle Jake gave a compliment to Addison about her climbing skills.
The parents were also on the look out for “acts of kindness” at home throughout the week:
- Megan shard her favorite toy with her brother.
- Ellie helped her cousin Poppy in the water at the children’s zoo.
- Big Brother Sam told Cooper that his 1st trophy “looked cool”.
- Isaiah helped his dad finish the walkway in the yard.
- Cooper shared bubbles with his friend Jason.
- Landon made special art for his “Papa”.
- Ellie and MJ played nicely together in the pool so Mommy got to relax a read a book in the beach chair for a few minutes.
- Ethan helped his Daddy with yard work.
- Daddy Dustin made us oatmeal before camp.
- Indie fed her turtle.
- Isaiah fed his dog, Muddy.
- Landon threw away his sister’s dirty diaper and put her dirty clothes in the hamper.
- Emma’s little sister let her play with her toys.
- Cooper wrote thank-you notes for his birthday gifts.
- Harry played with his sister so mommy could unload the dishwasher.
- Audrey rubbed her mommy’s shoulders and feet after a long day at work.
- Ellie and MJ played nicely together and did a “light show” for Mommy and Daddy one evening for “family play”.
- And then there were a couple of reported good deeds that I couldn’t quite decipher, but I can tell someone was very kind…
By the end of the week, the children had definitely earned their “POPSICLE PARTY” by exceeding the goal of “1oo Acts of Kindness”. And as the frozen treats melted down their chins onto their hands and clothes, my heart melted just a little bit thinking of the warmth and love that these children are learning to share with the world and share so generously with me :).
“Every day begin anew, BLESS the world as you pass through.” Garrison Keeler