At Carrying Hope, a main goal of ours is to make sure that this is a nonprofit that welcomes and encourages kids to be part of the entire volunteer process.
As moms ourselves, too often we had tried to involve our kids in volunteer efforts that we came to find out either didn’t actually encourage young volunteers or didn’t have the means to use them.
We don’t want that. When you agree to put together a Hope Pack, we offer a basic list of items to include, but it’s the children who have participated who have taken it to a new level, exhibiting such kindness and selflessness as they handpick each item, evaluating it for how much joy it might bring to someone else. For us, no one is a better expert at picking out things for kids than other kids.
“Keller and I went shopping this morning for a 4-year-old boy,” said Erica Green, who recently made a Hope Pack with her 4-year-old son, Keller. “I am really proud of this little guy. He picked out things he liked but never asked if he could have one. And as soon as we got home, he put everything out and packed up the backpack.”
During our recent drive, we heard many stories like this. We found thoughtful, handwritten, encouraging notes tucked into side pouches of backpacks that said things like, “You’re brave and you’re awesome and I know you can do it!” (written by a second-grader who helped create a pack). We had some families make a pack and then, at the urging of their children, request a list to make a second, or even third. And we heard about honest conversations between parents and kids about what a foster child is and why they could use understanding, and friendship.
Here’s a video about Carrying Hope’s efforts to make Hope Packs a community-wide cause.
Kids, if you’re listening, we want your help. In fact, we need your help. Maybe you can make a pack. Or volunteer as part of a drive. Or come up with some other unique, smart, awesome, incredible way to help. We’d be thrilled to hear your ideas. At Carrying Hope, there’s nothing we love more than kids helping kids.