Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Was a Stranger

Our church recently announced a new initiative to help refugees around the world called "I was a stranger."  Cheyenne really wanted to help, but her community is at least two hours away from the nearest area that would be suitable for refugee settlement, so there are no organizations nearby that we could help.  Instead, Cheyenne found an organization called Lifting Hands International that ships items purchased directly from their wishlist to refugees in camps in Greece.  In order to involve the kids in service for refugees, Cheyenne had the idea to pay the kids for doing small chores around the house, or doing their regular jobs without having to be asked, or without complaining.  All week long we had pockets full of quarters which we would hand out for jobs.  That way the kids had a tangible reward to put in the refugee relief box.  It was really fun to see the children all getting into the spirit of helping others.  Here are some of the things that they did.  Jared watered the garden.  On a different day, Maren took the initiative to water the garden herself, without being asked, and without help.  We found out about it when she came in soaking wet, and we came out to find the vegetables swamped.  That is a lot of water carrying for a little girl!  
 Eloise helped chop cantaloupe for Cheyenne's favorite sorbet.
 Jared and Aaron helped to put plastic around the strawberry plants so that the bugs don't eat the strawberries.
 Eloise helped empty the dishwasher. 
 One of the favorite chores was gathering and washing eggs from the hen house at Cheyenne's in-laws' house.  Miss Gay and Mr. Terry weren't around, since they have two new grandbabies in Utah and Idaho, but they graciously allowed us to stay at their house.  They even sent help right away when a power surge or something fried a wire on the air conditioner and it got really hot in the house.

 Egg gathering was fun, but it was kind of an adventure.  A couple of the hens were trying to roost, and got a bit aggressive when their eggs were taken out from under them.
 I think between all of the kids, only two eggs got broken in the cleaning process.  That is a pretty good record.  All of those chickens still produce more eggs than we could all eat together in a week.
 B was really excited to be trusted with the fragile eggs.  He worked very carefully.
Quarters were given out for helping with toy cleanup, food preparation, and dishes.  They were given for getting shoes on and getting in the car quickly the first time they were asked.
At the end of the week, all nine of the children had collected nearly $50 to spend on supplies for refugees!  With some parent/aunt donation matching, they had over $100 to spend.  They were very excited to pick out deodorant, underwear, and a stroller to send to people in need.  This was an awesome way for our kids to be able to participate in refugee relief and service.  It was valuable as a conversation starter about conditions for refugees, and why people become refugees.  I'm so glad that Cheyenne had this fantastic idea, and that we got to contribute in a small way to refugee relief from a small town in Georgia.

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