Precious memories made volunteering with our children
We recently received this letter from one of our volunteers at the Children’s Shelter, and wanted to share it with you!
The last two nights with the kids have been so wonderful. Friday night when we brought the spaghetti dinner it was a little bit of everything you could expect from a home occupied by 12 less-than-privileged spunky children. Yes, there was discombobbledness, loudness, ok-who-is-missing-nowness, stop-doing-that-ness, that's-not-appropriate-ness. What stays with me the most is that "manners" and most likely other newly taught positive behaviors were seen. For example, the kids knew that they could not eat until a prayer was said to thank God for the food. “Beth” volunteered to do that, and in her prayer, she not only thanked God for our food, but she also thanked Miss Nance and I for bringing it. The kids asked to be excused from the table. When your staff gave permission, they took their plate and utensils to the kitchen sink, rinsed them off, and placed them in the dishwasher. What? And....it was so nice to just "be" with the kids as we enjoyed supper together, rather than when we come to tutor them and make them "read out loud to us or else." This was our purpose in coming last Friday night: to let them know that we come because we love them, to bring a meal to them without an agenda requiring them to perform and to casually share a meal with them.
How could the next night get any better? It did, thank you Jesus. At first, when we brought “Thomas” and “ Susie” to Miss Nance's house and my house, (we live just a few doors away from each other) “Thomas” was his loving rambunctious exploring self. “Susie” was cautious, reserved and quiet, as she's been for months. As time wore on, she opened up like her old self, only more so. The first thing we did before we had dinner, was to let them drive our golf carts around the block with us. Miss Nance took “Thomas” and I took “Susie”. They were in awe. Do you realize how blessed we were to see the awe on their faces and experience their laughter? I think you do. We had the silliest dinner. It was nuts. My husband was there too. We had homemade chicken nuggets, oven fries, green beans with bacon, grilled tortilla cheese sandwiches, fruit salad, and crazy whipped cream antics. Then we went via golf cart to Brownwood Square. Our neighbors, Pete and Myrna met up with us and joined our party. “Susie”, “Thomas”, and I danced a cha-cha line dance and the Macarena! “Susie” totally opened up like a flower when we got there. She danced all around as she walked. “Thomas” picked a flower and gave it to her and she put it in her hair. When the band took a break, we went to Scooples Ice Cream and sat outside in the beautiful night air. The kids each ordered customized 3 scoop banana splits. Miss Nance ordered a hot fudge sundae. We all had spoons and ate off all of each other’s together. Our neighbors, Pete and Myrna, commented on the good manners of “Thomas” and “Susie”. Pete, a retired lieutenant colonel in the army said to Miss Nance and I, "You girls gotta couple a good kids right here." Then we had a golf cart ride back on a warm summer night to cap it off. It was a night to remember. It was perfect. We were all blessed….