This Spotlight on Service comes to us from Sacramento, California. A group of 19 caring children, ages 14 months to 11 years old, helped the victims of the Santa Rosa, California wildfires by assembling kits with valuable, daily necessities.
It’s clear to me that some of the most rewarding things for my daughter, Addie, cannot be found inside our home, but rather in the things that she does for people outside of our home. She frequently talks about helping others. Once again, she had a year packed with projects that benefited those in need or were acts of kindness. She recently turned four and similar to last year, we incorporated a community service project into her birthday party.
The difference that Addie is making is amazing but what’s even more amazing to me is how much of a difference those activities are making in her. This sense of helping others and being kind pervades much of what she does. We wanted to share that with her friends so we chose to help those devastated by the California wildfires in the Sonoma and Napa counties.
There have been 18 large wildfires in Northern California, displacing about 100,000 people and destroying about 7,700 homes and other buildings since the blazes began Oct. 8, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. These fires were located a mere 1 ½ hours away from our home. Close enough to see and smell smoke. Many of the adults, and by extension, children at Addie’s birthday party have extended family that were impacted (some lost everything) in the fires that ravaged the area, so this project was meaningful to most in attendance.
We began the service project by looking at a map of Northern California and discussing the close proximity of Sacramento to the wildfires. We looked out across the valley and observed the smoky haze in the air. We talked about what would happen if someone lost their house to a fire. Where would they sleep? How would they cook meals? What about clothing?
The children, even the smallest, were enthusiastic about helping those that lost everything and were in need of even the simplest daily care items. They each got a bag and started collecting items from bins that were holding basic daily necessities. We ended up assembling 19 care kits that were donated to a community in Santa Rosa.
All Care Kit supplies were generously donated by Terri and Mike Wilson