Operation "Summer-Is-Going-To-Be-So-Fun-But-It's-Not-ALL-ABOUT-YOU!"

Summertime is here and I for one am thrilled! However, like many parents, I have already been assaulted with the “me-me’s.” The “me-me’s” are the whiny voices of very blessed children who are bored or thinking a little too much about themselves. Before summer officially began, I scheduled some fun family service projects to help combat the “me-me’s” in my household, because I’m often prone to them too! Operation “Summer-is-going-to-be-so-fun-but-it’s-not-all-about-you!” has commenced!

This week, we piled everyone in the car and headed to Children’s Hunger Fund in Sylmar, California. We sorted rice into 1 lb. bags. My kids got to learn how to read a scale and scoop just the right amount to measure properly. They carried heavy bags of rice to a loading area and then other volunteers packed them into boxes of assorted foods for families in need.

Scooping rice into bags for weighing! The boys did a great job eyeballing the bags to get the right portion in before placing them on the scales. 

Our bags of rice were packed into a massive crate heading to families in the Philippines! Local churches distribute the food and offer hope and love to those in need.

Ready For Shipping. We prayed it would get through customs with no problems!

Children's Hunger Fund is a well-oiled machine! the whole process was enjoyable and the staff are kind and knowledgeable! 

Some of the other volunteers were sorting and packing macaroni, beans, and soap! Our little team filled 1,200 bags of rice in two hours! 

Our bags of rice were packed into a massive crate heading to families in the Philippines, though CHG supports the hungry, globally. They also have a program to feed families in our own area here in Los Angeles. Local churches distribute the food and offer hope and love to those in need all over the world.

My kids LOVED every minute, and even though we were hot and sweaty, they didn’t complain once. They also jumped right in to sweep the floors and clean our work station afterwards. Happy hearts and busy hands!

Oakley (5) worked hard for two hours straight. as soon as one task was finished he jumped right in to another without being asked. I was so grateful for his example!

One of the best parts was that there were a lot of other families with kids there. My boys said their favorite thing was making friends, working with the other kids, and thinking about the people they were helping. When we got home, my husband told them we would be spending half an hour reading while we ate lunch and then they could watch a movie. A pretty perfect start to the summer if you ask me! And guess what? The “me-me’s” didn’t return all day!  Yippee!!

Each bag of rice was then vacuum sealed for shipping. Quinn ran bags of sealed rice to the shipping containers. Low and behold, one of my girlfriends was there today with her daughters and so we got to make new friends and hang out with some of our old ones too! Score!

Those boxes contain enough food for a family to eat some good hearty meals for an entire week! These guys were excited and eager to see exactly how their efforts would help other kids. 

Oliver brought home a coin box to collect spare change to give back to Children's Hunger Fund for more food boxes! 

We can talk all we want to about contentment and serving the Lord, but it’s not until we model it and give our kids opportunities to live it out that it becomes a part of who they are becoming. I’m on the lookout for more fun service projects this summer, so I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, we'll be going to CHF several times this summer! If you live in Southern California and want to help out, or make a donation, you can get more information here!

SHARE: What have you volunteered to do as a family in the past? Where will you be serving other this summer?

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Amber Lia

A former high school English teacher, Amber is a work-at-home mom of 4 little boys under the age of 10. She is the best-selling author of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, say Something New. She and her husband Guy own Storehouse Media Group, a faith-friendly and family-friendly TV and Film production company in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not building sand castles with her boys on the beach, or searching for Nerf darts all over her house, you can find Amber writing to encourage families on her blog at Mother of Knights (www.motherofknights.com).