It was October 2014. Our family was collecting canned food items for our church’s food drive and I was creatively introducing words like “homeless” and “charitable” into my 3 and 4 year old daughters’ vocabularies. Quite the task!
Surprisingly, they seemed to get it. Or at least they were showing excitement toward helping other families. Other mommies and daddies. Other 3 and 4 year old children, just like them. I was one happy mommy. As my 4 year old pulled green beans off the shelf, I had a moment of clarity. I had been thinking about starting a volunteer group for months now and never taken the initiative to start. I felt like our girls weren’t old enough to actually understand and embrace the idea of charity work. I thought there wouldn’t be opportunities for children at such a young age to give back. However, the reality was quite the contrary. My girls were already empathizing with the best of them and I was able to fill our year-long volunteer bucket list almost immediately. Our first volunteer project would be organizing holiday food and toy drives at local schools. And so, Humble Pie was born!
In December of 2015, we continued our tradition and collected toys for children in need. This year we decided to donate our collections to Wayside Christian Mission and their Miracle On Broadway Christmas Store, which is open to families in need for the holidays. Parents have the opportunity to shop for FREE and find items like hats, scarves, craft items and toys. Every child can experience a magical holiday! Generally the store asks for new items to be donated but the Mission handpicked a few families to receive our goodies.
My daughter, Kate, delivered the goods with me and we had the opportunity to tour the Miracle On Broadway storeroom and speak to a store volunteer, who was also a recipient. As Kate thanked her for letting us donate our items, this mom broke down in tears. She said this store is the only way that her children had ever known a Christmas gift. She was incredibly gracious and humble and her emotions overtook both of us. It’s moments like these that solidify the reason why Humble Pie began. All children, even young children, can learn the importance of helping others. They can feel the power of kindness and the value of bringing smiles (or even happy tears) to the faces of others. It is a truly humbling experience. And we are going to continue to hand out our little slices of pie.
Some of our collections from our 2015 toy drive.
Thank you to our friends who donated to Wayside’s Christmas Store!
Miracle On Broadway Christmas Store
Wayside Christian Mission also offers an online shopping experience for those interested in supporting the missions’ programs. They sell mugs, t-shirts and CD’s recorded by the Down By The Wayside Choir (all involved patrons are current or past clients of Wayside). All proceeds go toward enhancing Wayside’s wonderful outreach programs.