In the week or so before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I received a flurry of messages about making the day one of service, a “day on, not a day off.” Not many of the service projects, though, seemed appropriate for kindergartners. When we have P-Patch work parties, Caitlyn comes, but her actions there are more Caitlyn-staying-out-of-the-way (ie, climbing on large dirt piles or digging randomly in an open plot) than Caitlyn-doing-community-projects. It’s possible she’ll learn about the importance of participation and community involvement by watching me do it, but I think there’s benefit to her being more hands-on sometimes.
When one of our neighbors announced an impromptu MLK Day food drive to benefit our local food bank, I promised Caitlyn would be there. Here was a Day of Service activity that made sense for a five year old. Yeah, maybe for her it was all about running around the neighborhood with her friends and the hide-and-seek of finding the donations people had left on their porches. But maybe, just maybe, it was another small lesson in generosity and helping out in your community.