Today is #givingtuesday and today we handed out the first of our You Matter bags.
My children really deserve most of the credit for our 2nd Pay It Forward activity this November. It all started on Halloween when we returned from Trick'or'Treating and looked in amazement (well, mom may have looked more worried than amazed) at that enormous pile of treats they had collected.
I remember thinking out loud that "perhaps we should donate some of it?" fully expecting loud protest. Instead, my girls agreed, pondered the thought and ran with it. They came up with You Matter bags to hand out to the homeless people we see on a regular basis - on our way to school, the grocery store, my office.
Instead of going to the movies this month they suggested to use that money to purchase cereal bars, Twinkies, chips, crackers and warm socks to add to the donation of about half their Halloween candy. I only helped with supplying the actual bags, adding water bottles and printing out Happy Holiday cards for them to color and add to each bag.
And today on #givingtuesday we handed out the first of their You Matter bags and the response we got had me in tears.
The whole idea was to let the homeless people that we see every week know that we notice them. And although we can't offer much, we at least wanted to tell them You Matter [they wrote just that, You Matter!, on the back of each card] and hopefully put a smile on their face - if just for a moment.
We got that smile and then some. Our very first You Matter bag was received warmly and graciously. It was beautiful beyond words and so very rewarding - in more ways than one.
*This is my entry into Belinda Spillman's Third Annual Pay It Forward ActiveRain Challenge and I thank Belinda very much for hosting it. The You Matter bags would have happened with or without a contest but it's a great way to get inspired and to inspire. My girls would be thrilled if they could accomplish the latter.