First, I sat down with the girls for a chat. We talked about how lucky our family is for so many reasons. How lucky we are to have our house to protect us from the rain. How lucky we are to have this playroom brimming with toys and drawers bursting with clothes.
Then we talked about other kids who aren't so lucky. After the earthquake in Haiti, Maya was very concerned about where the survivors would live. She even built games around rescue scenarios and faux Habitat for Humanity projects for her stuffed animal population. Now we talked about the growing number of families right here in the Twin Cities that struggle to cover their basic needs.
For the rest of the afternoon, the girls helped me sort through play room toys, hunting specifically for toys that haven't received much love simply because we have too many similar things, like stuffed animals or puzzles or several babyish games. Then we moved on to the bedroom, finding high quality clothes and shoes Elle has outgrown and even some things Maya insisted on sharing. "Elliot won't need all my things," she insisted, and she is right.
Then yesterday, we bundled up our bags of goodies, stopped at Target to add a few new toothbrushes and diapers to the pile, and we ventured into the city to drop them off at People Serving People.
The drop off was very low key. A smiling security guard thanked the girls for their efforts. A rainy playground outside reinforced the sense that they helped "the kids that aren't as lucky as us." When we met Joe for lunch they were both excited to share their experience with him.
Elliot is definitely chagrined by our shameless indulgence, but she still ate her chocolate covered pretzel with pleasure.
Our hope and intention is to drop off a few things from the People Serving People Wish List each month, maybe on a rainy day in June.