The Backpack Program at our church is a great way for us to wrap up the end of the summer and get ready for school. This year, I discovered that my friend participates in the program because it reminds her of a niece she lost a few years ago. In honour of her niece, she donates a backpack for a child that would’ve been in the same grade. We usually did the grades that Big H and Middle A were in, but this year, we followed our friend. It seemed a bit more meaningful as we went to select all the items needed for the backpack and the backpack itself. I had a face in mind. There was a special little girl out there that we were doing this for.
This program ties in really well to the girls’ newest assignment, a gratitude journal. They both wanted a BUJO (see my Bullet Journal post in the spring), but other than a Doodle Challenge and a couple of lists, they didn’t have much in it. I thought the summer was a great time for them to reflect on their day (it is much longer now as bedtimes have pretty much gone out the door) and to think about how lucky they are. The assignment was simple. Think about one to two things they are grateful for without it being the generic “I am thankful for food because not everyone in the world has food.” I wanted them to give a reason they are grateful. Explanations are everything.
They have had a few entries and so far so good. They are thankful for friendships because they can talk to their buddies and run around together. They recognize the value in their godparents and godbrothers. Today they were thankful for basketball and having parents coach them. I hope they keep this up when school starts. I think it’s important for kids to have an “attitude of gratitude” especially mine. Although they don’t go home with something most times they go to the mall (I know some parents who promise their kids a treat each time), they do receive generous birthday and Christmas presents and have my in-laws who are very generous grandparents (despite many reminders to wait for special occasions). Teaching them to give back starts at a young age so it may be something you’d like to start with your child.
If you are interested in involving your children in the St. Patrick’s Backpack Program in Markham or perhaps a similar program in your community, now is the time. If you are on Facebook, please contact me and I will gladly forward you some information. Backpacks are due soon so if you are interested, please contact me by Thursday, August 18.