There are a lot of layers to the homeless problem in our country but when teaching my girls about it, I appreciated how simple I was able to make it:
- Some people don't have homes or food. We do and we should find ways to help others who are not as fortunate-
It opened up a good discussion. My 6 year old figured it would be simple to just give everyone a home. So we talked about how even if you don't have all the resources to solve everyone's problems, you can still help them out in smaller ways. Not only can we help others with their physical needs but in doing so we let them know that we care about them.
For this simple service I took my girls to the Dollar Store and we walked the aisles and picked out items we thought would be helpful in making some kits for the homeless. Then we came home and assembled the kits into ziplock bags.
Since it's summer, we focused on that. We got sunblock, chapstick, some first aid supplies, tooth brushes and paste, combs, tissues, candy, juice, and snacks.
Then it was time to pass them out. We found a couple of people in parking lots while we were out running some errands. We parked the car and walked together to give them the bag. They seemed truly grateful and as we drove away we watched as they immediately applied the sunscreen and opened the juice box.
Then we went downtown to our city. We invited some friends as well. We had a fun afternoon at the outdoor mall and then we found some people who were in need of our kits.
(I didn't want the people we were helping to feel like we were in this just for a picture so I only took a few discrete photos if I had a chance. We also did this in a busy area, during the day time, with an adult close by.)
Everyone we gave a kit to was surprised and happy. One man even looked like he was going to cry. The experienced touched me even more than I thought it would and the girls were thrilled to be helping others. Now we've decided that we need to make more kits to have on hand in our car to give out whenever there's a chance.