I've just spent a great month with 8-12 "SuperKids" each Thursday. I wanted the kids in my primary department to have something to look forward to every week in July. Our theme was Our Great Big God -- we had lessons focusing on a different name for God each week and then followed up with food and something fun -- a splash down pool party, trip to a kids' museum, trip the zoo and yesterday did a service project for Operation School Bell which outfits over 1800 school kids with new clothes to start the school year.
I believe that kids today are looking for more. They really do want to help someone else. They watch the news with their parents. They see poverty on TV and in their school -- but they are at a loss for what to do about it. Studies show that young people who are involved in serving others have less problems with low self-esteem and depression. By helping someone with needs greater than their own, young people appreciate what they have and learn to give back to help others.
A good friend of mine has worked with Operation School Bell for many years and is passionate about it. Several weeks ago I approached her with the possibility of our SuperKids lending a hand. My objective for yesterday was for our kids to learn HE is the Lord and we are His servants, along with "to whom much is given, much is required" and that we can all grow when we learn to give back.
I have to say that when they learned how young our kids are, some of the sponsors had doubts as to how well our Life Park SuperKids could perform. I was so proud of them when they all showed up in their red and blue shirts they'd painted the first week. (we added a few teens and Moms and even a precious 7 month-old baby brother) and were able to fill over 1200 hygiene bags to be given away to each student who has the opportunity to "shop" at the OSB store. The ladies in charge of this effort kept remarking at what great workers they were, how well-behaved and what an awesome job they did!
I reminded the kids that though they were tired -- it was a good kind of tired and they could know that they had done something significant. At their young age they had been able to help a student, maybe even one from their school have something that we all can take for granted -- new clothes.