Our October service project was to make Blessing Bags for a local nonprofit called Be Heartfelt. Their mission is to break the cycle of poverty. They partner with social workers in Guam to provide hygiene kits and food to children and families in need. We began this project a few months ago by asking our community to donate items. Several KindCraft families volunteered to collect items and to help us spread the word about our project. We SO appreciate all of the donations.
Our event was held at the Indian Creek Library in Olathe, Kansas. It was downright pouring on us as we brought in two SUV's full of supplies, but we managed to get it all inside :) We had LOTS of help from our Student Ambassadors, including the KC Challenge 13-3 volleyball team, a group of students from Blue Valley Southwest's Kay Club, and a few other volunteers. They sorted, unwrapped, unpackaged, and counted all of our supplies to prepare for the event!
As families arrived, we asked them to make cards for the blessing bags. They wrote things like, "You are awesome!" and "You are loved."
As the tables were full and we were out of seats, we gathered the little ones on the floor in front of us so they could learn about our project. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of our event. The why!! In order to build empathy and compassion for others, we must know why we are doing what we are doing!
We talked about what would happen to our teeth if we didn't have toothpaste and we talked about the negative effects of not having things like soap and shampoo. As always these are some SMART kiddos who know how important these items are to human dignity and health.
Lori Marble, founder of Be Heartfelt, told her story of why she decided to start her own nonprofit. She talked to the kids about Guam, where it is, what it is, and what life is like for many families who live there. She brought a board with pictures so the kids could really see what life looks like there.
Then we got to packing! Assembly line style was used to fill each bag. We had almost all FULL SIZE hygiene items like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, lotions, etc. Each bag contained all of the above mentioned as well as a brush and/or combs, a poof, nail clippers, a toothbrush, bar of soap, and underwear (to be added later if you didn't see it).
The line moved slowly, because you know, there were some tough choices like should I choose the red toothbrush or the green toothbrush But this gave the kids an opportunity to look again at the Guam board, as well as a chance to chat with Lisa and ask her some questions.
We loaded up her car and when I say loaded, I mean loaded. Every inch of her car was full and she was ever so gracious for the communities help. We can't wait to see pictures of her next trip to Guam!