Today we bring you a guest post from Jennifer Brandt who blogs over at Perfectly Disheveled about her work with Feed the Children last year and how she brought home the message of gratitude to her kids.
Exactly two years ago this week, I came home from a 3 day trip to Haiti on a mission with Ladies’ Home Journal, Crocs Cares, and Feed the Children to deliver shoes to school children. It was the best time of my life and the worst time of my life. To travel so far and literally outside my comfort zone to a world I would have never imagined traveling to, and to be in a position to take some part (albeit, small) in helping children in need: The Best.
The worst: To be so far away from home and to know that when I do get home, teaching my child what gratitude really is, in a world where “I’m bored,” “Can I download”,” Can I have” is a part of daily dialogue and ignored because “He’s 7, so…,” or “If you do X, you can have X,” or “Here, I’m tired…” And the list goes on…
Forget all the “how-to parent/breastfeed/make them sleep” books I’ve read or the “here’s how they should eat” classes I’ve taken. It’s become clear to me that THIS, teaching gratitude will be the biggest challenge I have as a parent. Which even when you think about, is LUCKY.
A woman a traveled to Haiti with from Feed the Children told me about their Sponsor a Child program that they’re working hard to raise awareness of. For $30 a month, a donation will:
-help provide nutritious and hot food for a child
-access to safe, clean water
-education and school supplies
Tonight I shared my goal of gratitude and giving with Jonah. Although I don’t know that he gets the severity of what true need means quite yet, I do feel like something resonated with him when we looked through the pictures of the children from all the different countries and could put names with the faces. He liked the idea of helping a specific child and he liked the idea that through Feed the Children, we can actually correspond with the child and get updates on their well-being. He kept going back to a boy in Malawi, exactly 3 months older than Jonah… he has no running water or electricity in his home but one day he wants to become President.
As I tucked J into bed tonight, he asked me if Malawi has a rich president. “Why?” I asked. “Because if he is rich, he needs to give people jobs. Have them build things. Like pipes and filters. Run the water to their houses. Someone needs to make a better system.” Yep. They sure do.
To read her full post on Haiti head to her website.