At Servants with a Heart, the food packing events are set up so that people of all ages can actively participate. Helping children to volunteer has been a goal of the organization since its first days. Suzanne and Jeffrey Yoh founded SWH as a place where families can come together and volunteer.
Many of the food packing events take place in schools and churches where the majority of the volunteers are children. Calvary Church’s Vacation Bible School hosts packing events over the course of two days and has partnered with SWH for the last four years. The kids at the VBS all bring money to pay for the meals being packed and shipped. It gives them the chance to see first-hand what being generous can do and how they a make an impact on other children’s lives around the world.
At the event, children of all ages are divided into tables with their groups after watching the video that explains where the food goes and then how to pack. Children from as young as four years old all the way up to fourteen can pack bags together.
For many of these children, this is not their first packing event, and they are excited to tell you what they know about SWH and what they like about it.
Jonah told us that “even if you don’t have a lot or do have a lot you should still give something.” SWH is teaching them how a little generosity can make a difference and change lives.
One group of four to eight year olds was very excited to talk about how many times they had packed before. “Some of the kids in the video were probably getting food out of the trash,” Claire said when talking about who the food may be going to in Nicaragua.
“I loved packing the food,” said Ava. “It made me feel good and happy.”
A leader of VBS told me one girl in her group was sick the day of the packing event, and she was so disappointed to be missing it that her mom called for her and made a donation on her behalf.
“She is so devastated she can’t be here,” her leader said. “Taylor has looked forward to Servants with a Heart all week long. She has a fever and her mother called the church to give money.”
There were about 750 children who participated and packed a total of 63,000 meals over the course of two days.
An SWH packing event shows the children participating that they have so much to be thankful for here, and how they can make lives better for children who do not have everything they do. With the schools and the churches that host these events, often the children must bring in their money to fund it. They begin to learn from a young age that giving back brings joy and fulfillment.
In what ways do you want your children to know more about volunteering and service? How are you instilling these values in your family?
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