So previously I mentioned that in addition to my 12 Months of Me photo project, I was planning on another year long challenge. I had been wanting to do more activities with my kids this year that got them involved with helping others. I feel we are so truly blessed and we need to share this extra energy to those who need it. I found the 52 Smiles project on Pinterest from KatherineMaries. She had her family participate in a year long project of giving and doing something generous for others. She offered amazing suggestions to complete for each week of the year. However, I know what I realistically can do, and 52 weeks was too ambitious. So I chose 12 months.
For the month of January I already had plans to do something for two of my coworkers who are currently undergoing cancer treatment. For one of them, it is a scary second time around after beating cancer about 6 years ago. For the other, it was a sudden and surprising discovery about a month ago that he was already at a very aggressive and serious stage of cancer. I had found a coupon deal from Mamasource by Mamapedia for a wonderful care package made by Spoonful of Comfort that included organic chicken soup, spa socks, a ladel, and hot cocoa. The deal was great and I thought it might be a nice break for them to have a nourishing meal handy.
In February, I worked with my children and my sunday school class in creating Valentine care packages for patients at the local children’s hospital. My sister volunteers at the children’s hospital and talked to the child life specialists about what was needed. She was informed that the patients would not need valentine cards as they probably would be left behind, trashed, etc. Instead, these patients need materials that could keep them active. Because they are sick, there is always a shortage of crayons, activity books, etc. So I went to Wal-Mart and got some Valentine themed party bags, sticker puzzles, game pads, crayons, stickers, and plastic leap frogs. It wasn’t even that expensive!
I made sure I bought bags that were big enought to fit everything!
I had my sunday school class make homemade valentine cards with messages on them. I was surprised to find that one of the students in my class, only 6 years old, had been hospitalized before. He started describing his experience with the IV and how he couldn’t see his friends, only his parents. So the class got a good idea of what these kids may be feeling.
Here are the finished bags. My youngest was so excited about the experience. When she saw the bags they had made for the kids in the hospital, she said, “Mommy I’m so excited I just have to hug someone!”
So here is a wrap up of the smiles created so far:
January: 2 Smiles
February: 24 Smiles
Now on to March!