My seven year old made this jar and a thank you note for all the friends who stopped by our Gratitude Garage Sale. As a parent, I want to inspire my children to be thankful for what they have and share what they can with others. Gratefulness and generosity is not something all people are born with. These traits are very important to our family and we continuously try to model generosity with our own behaviors and provide our children with opportunities to do the same.
When I first explained the concept of a Gratitude Garage Sale to my older children ages 4 and 7, I told them about the people in our community that were hungry, many of those were families with children. It is a hard concept for little ones who always to grasp, so I tried to explain it as clearly, but kid friendly as possible.
There are many people who want to work, but may not be able to find a job. Their kids need to eat. The government sometimes helps people in need, but all to often, there are still hungry tummies. The children were more than willing to participate. I truly believe that every little bit makes a difference.
They gathered toys and clothing they no longer used, It was a clean out for a cause. I did too and we set them on a tables and bins in our garage. Then we invited our friends and neighbors over individually to shop, explaining that they could buy the items with canned goods OR make a money donation and we would buy the food. This was a lot calmer and easier for the kids to interact 1:1 with their customers. I wanted to provide my children an opportunity to serve.
They collected bags of groceries and $25. I told them that I would match their earnings. With $50 and coupons we went shopping at our local store. They made decisions based on nutrition, what they would like, and the budget. We then headed to our local food pantry where they gave us a tour and weighed our food – 110 Lbs total.
And now, I encourage you to host your own Gratitude Garage Sale, participate in a Bowls for Hunger, donate to your favorite charity, make bread for an elderly neighbor, send a card to a deployed soldier or think of a totally new and unique way to give back to your community. Let us parent our children with grateful hearts and generous spirits, for it ’tis the Season of Giving.