A few months ago during Random Acts of Kindness Week, I came across this activity called “kindness bingo.” As a follow up to the lesson, I had the students randomly select a kind act from a jar. I explained that it was their “secret mission”.
Little did I know how excited the kids would be to put their mission into action. For months they stopped me in the hallway to tell me about the letter the wrote to the lunchroom aide or the household chore they did without being asked. Some classes decided to complete all of the “missions” listed on the bingo sheet before the end of the school year.
This got me thinking about my own children. What could I do with them to impact our community in some small way? So that is when I got the idea to go on missions with them throughout our community. To look for those in need, understand their feelings, and try to help.
Mission 1: Playground Toys
There is a playground in a town about 10 minutes from where I live. My kids love to play there because there are always a ton of kids. The other day when we were there we noticed that the sandbox toys were in rough shape. There were no shovels and a handful of broken toys.
I reached out to the park and recreation department of the town offering to donate money. No one responded.
So I decided that this would be a great opportunity for us to do a kindness mission. We started by going through our house and found four trucks and a shovel. Then we stopped at our local thrift store and for $9.00 we found a wagon, six pails and shovels, a yellow dump truck, and a boat.
We arrived at the playground and quickly unloaded the treasures from our cars. A young boy approached my four year old son and said; “Wow can I play with your toys,” my son replied “We brought them for you.” Within a few minutes a small group had gathered and began playing.
When it was time to go my kids easily transitioned to the car knowing that the toys would be there when they returned.
Mission 2: Muffins
One of my neighbors recently lost her mother and we were looking for a way to show her that we were thinking of her. We tried knocking one day to invite her over for lunch, however she was not home. My older son kept peeking out the window for her car but she was out for the day.
So a few days later, my sons and I decided to whip up some blueberry lemon muffins and stop by to deliver them. She was surprised to see us of course but delighted as well.
She began to tell us that while her mother was 97, the loss still had a huge impact. When I commented about my great aunt recently passing away at age 94, and my expectation that she would live forever, she teared up. My children quickly changed the subject by asking her about the toys she had in her house and the ants on her walkway. I hope that in some way we brightened her day.
Mission 3: Cookies for Cops
Five weeks ago our lives were shaken a bit when my four year old son flipped over in a battery powered car and broke his collarbone. I have never felt more helpless in my life. We were blessed to have two police officers and three EMTs come to our house and check my son out. Their patience and kindness during a stressful situation was such a blessing.
So last week, we decided to let them know just how much of a blessing they are to us. We made some “Lightening McQueen” cookies and delivered them along with a handmade thank you note. It was a great opportunity to recognize some of the necessary people in our live.
Mission 4: Comforting the grieving
We live in a small town, where you feel at home just about everywhere you go. Recently, a beloved bank teller at our branch, informed me that she had to put her dog to sleep. Having been in the same boat not too long ago with our beloved Tucker; we felt her pain. So in an attempt to brighten her day, we bought a stuffed puppy and my son drew her a picture. She was so touched that she sent him a thank you note, which he was so excited about because 4 year olds don’t get mail often.