Saturday, June 6, 2009

weekly wrap up - June 5

School's out!

We excitedly completed the last lessons in our English books, finished almost all of the reading (with the battle scarred May we had, these will get finished in June), and came to a good stopping place in math. Aaaaaaaahhhhhh.

Such a sense of accomplishment. So great to look back on a year and see all that we learned and experienced, and grew through. And, know that we get to do it all again. I love homeschooling.

This week included two trips to the chiropractor (wow! I am a fan now), lots of productive school time, the last gymnastics class before summer, a beautiful play date with friends, and a day at the homeschool convention(more on that another time).

The highlight of our week came on Wednesday night when we joined our church to pack meals for hungry kids in Africa in partnership with an organization called Feed My Starving Children. I mentioned earlier that serving is one of our summer boredom buster plans, and this project definitely fit the bill.

This organization, based in Minnesota, has put together a system and ministry to bring food to places of desperate need in an efficient, engaging, and compassionate manner.

We met with over 200 other people for a time of prayer, orientation, awareness building, and instruction and then got to work. At stations manned by 6-10 people you work together in an assembly line to package chicken flavored powder, dehydrated vegetables, soy protein, and rice into labeled bags. Weigh, seal, stack, and pack into boxes. Kids as young as five years old can be an active participant in the process.

Great music, friendly competition, and lots of cooperation. At the end of an hour, this large group had packed more than 50,000 meals, enough to feed almost 137 people for a year! And, at just 17 cents each meal it gets the job done in a fiscally respectable way as well. It was so great to be a part of.

The most amazing aspect, came from watching our kids working together for a need completely outside of themselves. Even our five year old worked with such focus and purpose. She didn't grow tired or complain, just kept sealing and stacking. She expressed the most enthusiasm about participating another time, mentioning the desire to help feed kids that need food.

I know none of my kids can physically relate to the hunger pain experienced by so many world wide (no matter what they tell you at 11:00 each morning), but they can still make a difference in this admittedly overwhelming need.

While their locations are in Minnesota and Illinois (you can walk in or sign up to work at a variety of times at their facilities), they will come anywhere in the country with their project if you can commit the volunteers and raise the money to pack at least 10,000 meals. Our church set 500,000 meals as their goal with 2,500 volunteers (between the four local campuses and five different time slots.) This is a great ministry project for a large church to put together and really make a tangible difference in the hunger crisis effecting various countries in the world today.

Even if you don't live in Minnesota or Illinois, they post their different off site-events on a calendar and maybe one will come close enough for you to participate. Texas, California, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Colorado, and Florida are all on their calendar in the weeks ahead.

Our only complaint, is that it was too short a time. We would have loved to get to work quicker, and work longer. My husband ended up taking our older four kids back to another session on Friday night (our youngest is not old enough to participate, so I had to stay home with him). What a great way to start our summer!

Check out more Weekly Wrap Ups.


Cheryl said...

What a fantastic week! I love that your family took time to give-and that you did it as a family. Beautiful!

Dusti said...

Wow very cool. Teaching your kids to have a heart for serving- I hope to encourage some service projects into our homeschool. Thank you for sharing.

Nekey said...

Wow! I feel inspired to go help those in need.. if not abroad, here in our own community. Thanks so much for sharing.

Kris said...

Congrats on another year completed! I love the report cards that you posted about in your other post, too. Those turned out great.

I love that your family is working together to serve others. That's such a meaningful thing to do together. I really love that kids as young as five can participate. Our homeschool group was wanting to do some service projects together last year and we had a hard time finding things that younger kids could do.

Enjoy your summer!