Be Kind & Do Good with The Giving Bag & Lead by Example
Picture it…Sicily 1937…(just a little fun for those Golden Girls fans out there, and if you don’t know what tv show this is from, you're missing out!)
No, but really, picture it…
…you’re driving home from soccer practice with your kids in the car, the light turns yellow and you slow to a stop at the intersection and there’s a man or woman standing there with a sign saying that they are homeless and in need of help.
What do you do?
There are a few likely responses to this question and we’re going to talk about them- even the ones that make us feel uncomfortable. Yep, come on, it’s time.
You ignore the person.
You suddenly decide you LOVE the song on the radio so you turn it up and start jammin’ out and invite your kids to join you. In your head you’re thinking “Whew, that was a close one- I'm so glad my favorite Taylor Swift song was on.”
(By the way…it’s not a coincidence that this is listed at the top as we guess that this is the most common reaction and that’s ok, until now.)
You grab for your purse in the front seat
…slowly…and pretend that you’re looking for money in there. From here, you do one of two things- you intentionally don’t open the section of the wallet where the money is (if there’s some in there) or you DO intentionally open the section where you keep your money because you KNOW there is none in there. This reaction solves a couple of things for you - first, it allows your kids to think that you are actively looking to help this person (therefore are kind-hearted and compassionate) and second, it allows you to then glance out of the window showing the empty wallet and smiling faintly as if to say “sorry, I don’t have any money to give but I tried”.
You grab your wallet and grab some cash
…quickly, so you can hand it over and feel like you did your good deed for the day, while your kids were watching.
You roll down your window, make eye contact with the person,
say hello and wish them a good day.
Some combination of all of these things…
…but it really depends on the day.
Most of us will admit that we’d like to respond better (and we DO want to do better, that’s why we’re reading this post!), but more than likely we respond with the first option, which is ignoring the person. I’d be lying if I said I knew the perfect thing to do in this situation ALL OF THE TIME, but I don’t- and I’ve found it can be even harder to navigate when my 2- year old son is in the car.
So we’re going to talk about a couple of things you can do,
together with your kiddos, that will not only help someone in need, but will show your kids how to act in a kind and compassionate way toward another person experiencing a difficult time.
At the bare minimum, making eye contact and saying hello
should always be considered in situations like this, whether in the car, or walking on the street. Of course, you must always trust your instincts and make sure that the situation is safe and there’s no sense of danger (this also provides a good opportunity to talk to your kids about safety and common sense), however, most situations that I’ve encountered are perfectly safe for exchanging a greeting. People deserve, and want to be, acknowledged and seen- if there is one thing that is MOST IMPORTANT to communicate to our kids, it’s that ALL PEOPLE MATTER. We have some great resources for additional reading about this at the end of the blog, so don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom.
If you want to do a little more than exchange a greeting
AND want to show your kids how they can make the world a little bit brighter, then The Giving Bag is a perfect solution. In our last blog post, one of our For Purpose Fans, Jolene, talked about making Kindness Bags with her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop. Today, we’re going to tell you how you can make your very own Giving Bag by outlining a few things that you may want to include.
5 Things to Include in the Giving Bag:
- A Bottle of Water
- A Snack- Fruit, nuts and granola bars are good options, although it is important to note that some people may have poor teeth and these snacks may be difficult to eat. But granola bars are often a good choice, because they will keep fresh for a while.
- A Packet of Wet Wipes- these are always useful and will be much appreciated in all situations- can be purchased inexpensively at pharmacies, grocery stores and other similar locations.
- A Kindness Card- made by your very own For Purpose Kids! This will not only allow your kids to experiment with their creativity, but will definitely make someone’s day a little bit better.
- A Smile and a few Kind Words- when delivering or handing out The Giving Bag, make sure you and your kids look the person in the eye, smile and say something like “We made this for you- I hope it helps” or “You will be in our thoughts”. These gestures may mean even more than the contents of the bag, so this is probably the most important thing to remember.
While we know there was a lot of information included in this post, we could've continued writing for several more pages to talk about all we wanted to cover. That’s why we’ve included additional resources at the bottom for you to read, should you be so interested (we especially like the one from the More With Less Mom, who speaks honestly and from experience about this topic). And as always, if you have any questions, comments or feedback for us, let us know on our Facebook and Instagram @forpurposekids.