Summer is almost over and its finally time to make the transition into fall. Yay! We’re saying goodbye to beach vacations and barbeques; and saying hello to oversized sweaters, pumpkin patches and celebrating the upcoming holidays with our families. If you’re anything like me, then fall is probably your favorite season. For one, because I adore everything pumpkin (I couldn’t get any more basic). And two, because it’s the season of change and the season of giving. And what better way to transition into fall, then by changing up our family traditions and giving back to our community?
This fall season, Autumn and I (since Roman is too little to participate) have decided to dedicate at least one hour of our time volunteering for a worthwhile cause twice a month. We kicked it off this past weekend when we teamed up with Feeding Children Everywhere during their Atlanta Cares Hurricane Relief Project. Needless to say, we had a blast.
Feeding Children Everywhere is a nonprofit organization committed to providing healthy meals to those in need. They launched in August 2010 in Sanford, Florida and so far, have provided meals to over 20 million people throughout the world!
I was scrolling through Facebook a few days after Hurricane Irma hit and saw an ad for the Atlanta Cares Hurricane Relief Project by Feeding Children Everywhere. The ad said they were in desperate need for volunteers to help package 1.2 million meal kits for the victims that have been affected by Hurricane Irma. My heart was aching for the families that were forced to experience this natural disaster, and I had been desperately seeking a way to help outside of donating money. So, when this opportunity popped up on my timeline and I found out it was a kid-friendly event, I immediately signed us up.
On our way to our shift, I explained to Autumn what we were going to do and why we were doing it. I told her that there were families, just like us, that lost everything due to the hurricane including access to food. I told her that our job today was to make sure that those people were fed. I then asked her how she would feel if she was hungry but didn’t have anything to eat. She said she would feel very sad and like she was starving. I explained that the way she would feel is exactly how they are feeling right now. Once she understood, she was so excited to help.
The event was held at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. When we arrived, I was truly shocked to see how many volunteers were there. There were THOUSANDS of people everywhere, from all different ages, races, and backgrounds. It was amazing to see how many people took time out of their day to help.
We were quickly greeted by the event staff who assigned us to a table with about 7 other people. From there were given instructions to form an assembly line to fill up the meal kits. The meal kits included a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli, applesauce, peanut butter crackers, a granola bar, a pack of Pringles, cookies, and chocolate or vanilla pudding.
I thought the assembly line fashion would be a little difficult for Autumn to catch onto, but she had no problems adjusting at all. Her little hands were moving so fast and you could see her sense of urgency. I stopped to take a few pictures of her first volunteer experience, and she told me to stop because I was holding up the assembly line (haha)! I loved seeing her enthusiasm and passion to help.
The environment of the event was amazing as well. They had a live DJ who played different genres of music and they even provided free food from Chick-Fil-A for all the volunteers. The vibe was upbeat, organized and fun! Everyone on our assembly line was amazing and you could tell really wanted to be there.
I have volunteered by myself in the past, but I am so glad that Autumn and I got a chance to do this together and that we are making it a part of our fall family traditions. Volunteering with your children is so important because just like adults, sometimes children need to be humbled too. We all get so caught up in our own lives, that it’s so easy to forget that there are people who are in much tougher situations than us. I’m hoping that our volunteer experiences will help Autumn remember to be more appreciative of what she has because there are others who aren’t as fortunate as she is. Not only that, but I hope to continue to build a spirit of compassion and generosity within her.
I am looking forward to bonding with her through more experiences like these during this season of giving and I can’t wait until Roman gets older so that he can experience it with us too. I am even considering doing it throughout the entire year because of the positive impact it has on not only others, but our family as well.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you and your family can volunteer with Feeding Children Everywhere you can check out their upcoming events page HERE. They have many events coming up throughout the U.S and children ages 6+ are welcomed with open arms! I highly recommend them.
What are some traditions that your family participates in during the fall season? Or do you have one that you’re thinking about starting? Please feel free to share in the comments. I would love to hear yours!