Looking for an idea for kids to help others? Host your own Operation Brown Bag Project to help others and experience the joy of giving with your child.
Here’s how this project went with our family…
Operation Brown Bag Project
Early Christmas morning our doorbell rings even though my boys are still in their pajamas they rush to the window and greet the visitors from the South, all 12 of them are strangers to us. The children yell through the gate asking if we can give them their “Navidad” (Christmas present).
Their ages range from 8 months to 14 years of age, and they all gave me this hopeful smile.
A little background on our day up until when the doorbell rang:
Presents were opened, Christmas breakfast has been served and we sit around and enjoy each other’s company as we try to assemble toys and play with the kids while carols play loudly in the background. My cup runs over, truly I am blessed and these children behind our black metal gates are reminding me of this truth.
I am overcome with emotion and I freeze not really knowing how to bless 10 little kids.
I run inside and announce to our kids “assembly line, we have lunches to make.”
Thank God we had just bought ham, bread and lots of snacks. I go back outside and tell them to give us 5 minutes and we will serve them lunch.
We do OPERATION BROWN BAG with our kids so they are very used to assembly line lunch making. Usually, though we go out to the streets and find the children who are juggling for money or selling candy at stop lights or in the park.
But not today, the Lord brought them to us, our very own front door to remind me that I have been given much. My boys were hesitant at first in helping make lunches because that meant leaving their new toys for a few minutes.
I looked at them and said, “today you have been given much now it’s time to give to others“. Immediately, their attitudes changed and we got the lunches made. The kids sat right outside our curb and immediately ate the lunches.
The kids and two moms were so sweet, they continuously said “Dios te pague” (God repay you) and wishing us a Merry Christmas.
It was such an honor to welcome these little visitors from the South. Enjoy the holidays and may you also be blessed with the joy of giving.
A lot of the low-income families live South and North of us and they take a bus early in the morning to come into the big city to sell their goods. Depending on the season it varies sometimes strawberries or avocados and candy. Sometimes they travel for hours on a bus to come into town and try to make a buck or two.
Christmas weekend they go to the more developed neighborhoods asking for some kind of Christmas gift: toys, candy or money.
Mari Hernandez-Tuten wears many hats throughout her day: mom, wife, friend, counselor, missionary, and founding editor of the Ezine, Inspired by Family and our quarterly online flip-page free publication. Our Ezine is a place full of creativity, laughter, celebrations, encouragement and good eating that we hope spills over into your home. So stop by and grab a seat, a cup of Cafe con Leche, and let’s get inspired!
Kim’s “Spin On It”
Reaching out to families in need is one of the most special things you can share with your child. I can not imagine how it felt that Christmas morning Mari, as you watched your children help you to provide lunch for all 10 children and the gratitude that their mothers expressed to you.
I have to say I think it is such a great reminder to all of us to stop and pause on Christmas Morning or any holiday morning to reflect on those that may not be in the same situation.
Think of the elderly neighbor down the street, residents of an assisted living home, residents of your local homeless shelter or even firefighters who have to be on duty. Even as we go through our day think of the clerk who still has to work on Christmas at the fast food restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores.
Is there a way we could all share a little cheer to them?
I love the idea of Operation Brown Bag whether it’s at your front door step or throughout your community. We encourage you to come up with something special with your family this holiday season to share random acts of kindness with others.
More resources for Snapshots of Parenting with Purpose
- Teaching Children About Giving and Hunger
- Moms Fighting Hunger
- Kindness Elf Ideas for Busy Parents (Includes printable notes)
- Supporting Charities with your Families
- Greeting Card Ideas for Kids
- Ways for Kids to Volunteer with Senior Citizens
- Introducing Kindness Elves During Holiday Season
- Join a Empty Bowls Project
- Tips for Hosting a Fundraiser Garage Sale with Kids
- Tips for Teaching Your Child About Giving and Helping Others in Need
- Supporting Your Local Backpack Program
- Ideas for How to Help No Kid Hungry
Share your Own Snapshot of Parenting with Purpose
Thanks for letting me share a special memory for our family, with your readers. ~mari
The Educators Spin On It says
Thank you Mari for sharing such a special memory with all of us. I hope it inspires us to reach out to others with our children.
Kendall Soto says
Wow love this!
Pennies of Time says
There are so many things that I just deeply appreciate about this experience. I cannot wait to share it with my boys tomorrow. Thank you for taking the time to share with us a special memory One of the things that really stood out to me was that your children were already accustomed to working, helping others. So, in a time a need, there was no arm twisting or cajoling needed. A very powerful example. Thank you!