As a parent, I am always trying to find ways to help instill “giving” and “thinking of others” in my children. My kids are very blessed and I would like them to view themselves that way one day, even now. I think it can be a delicate balance to try and keep kids innocent while at the same time allowing them to be informed people. I try and choose opportunities which allow them to make some choices and feel ownership in their giving.
I was reading the paper a week ago when I came across this brief news item.
I instantly felt this was a project my kids could be involved in. This was the same hospital we had visited only a month earlier. Honestly, I hadn’t thought once about the kids at the hospital in October. I always thought about families celebrating Christmas at the hospital but never Halloween.
The costumes needed to be new and in a bag to limit germ exposure. They were looking for costumes in size 10 and up and 2 and under.
I showed the kids the article and asked them if they wanted to participate. The catch was that I asked them to donate $1 of their money to help cover the costs, I would pay the difference. My six year old immediately said yes while my nine year old was hesitant. After a little pressure from his brother he agreed.
After school one day I took them to the Halloween store and let them choose a costume to donate. They examined the costumes for fifteen minutes, discussing each one in detail.
We paid for the costumes and left.
I was extremely proud of my children. Not once did the boys ask for a costume or an accessory and not once did they complain that their costumes were made from Goodwill clothing.
The kids went with my husband to the hospital to drop off the costumes. They left them at the front desk for the child life specialist to pick up and bring back to some deserving child.
Hopefully two ill children or their siblings will enjoy dressing up and being a kid in those costumes. More importantly, I hope this is a giving tradition our family will continue for many years.