I dumped out our overflowing tub of stuffed animals. I quickly put my favorites, her favorites & the "not-so-gently-used" animals back in the bin, leaving the rest for Paige to pick from. This left a small pile, but the tub was still overflowing. Paige decided to give away all but one of the toys I offered to her, but then she went back to the bin & started reaching for the ones I didn't offer to give away to the kids to add to the 'give away box'. I quickly said, no, that those weren't ones we could give away, but as soon as the words left my mouth, I realized how selfish I was being.
They weren't even my toys, why did it matter to me?
I realized it was lunch time & we would re-visit the toy situation later. A few days later we went back down to the toy room to gather the stuffed animals. I decided I was being selfish & if Paige wanted to help more kids, then I needed to let her. I then, once again dumped out the toy bin & offered her all of the toys that were of acceptable condition. She then added almost all of those toys into our donation bags. She even added some of her favorite stuffed animals that she loved to play with.
Once we got to the fire station, she was holding a dog that she originally said she wanted to donate. We handed the bags to the fireman & I asked her if she still wanted to give the dog to the fireman for the kids. She said yes, but the fireman told her she could keep it since it was so cute, but Paige insisted that she wanted to give it away. I don't know if I can ever forget that moment & hearing her sweet Apraxic voice saying, "I want to give it away".
It touched me.
I was and am still so impressed with her giving attitude. She could have easily kept just one of the stuffed animals & still helped so many kids. But that wasn't good enough for her, she wanted to give all that she could to help others. It may have been a simple act on her part, but it made a lasting impression on me.
From now on I will do better to give my all to others. I'm not perfect, and probably never will be, but I will be better. Less selfish. We live in such a self-focused world (which isn't necessarily all bad), that I found it refreshing to see a toddler, someone at a stage often labeled as 'the selfish stage', give so much of what she loved. If someone at this age can do it, I can too.
My sweet, three year old daughter, helped 15 kids without thinking twice. I'm so proud of her. Who says one person can't make a difference?
For more community service project ideas, click here.
This post was linked up at BeYOUtiful, Love That Max, B-Inspired Mama, The Modest Mom Blog, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Raising Arrows and Christian Mommy Blogger.
Children are amazing, service is in their blood! Do you have a sweet service story of one of your kids? I'd really love to hear about it... comment below!
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