Last evening J and some boys from church got together as “kids club” to do some service for the community: picking beans in God’s Garden, a local non-profit that grows fresh veggies for our food bank and its associated cafe.
I’ll be honest, this probably wouldn’t have been something J would have thought of to do all by himself. He was at a friend’s house whose mom saw the email about the activity, consulted with me, and we decided to send our boys. No indeed, I am not the great mom who thought of this, but at least I get credit for agreeing to let my kid go, and staying in town extra hours so I could pick him up.
As you can see from the photo below, this was not a fun and games activity.
I wish I could say that J did it with the most joyful of hearts and was so excited to do it again when he was done. Not quite the truth. He didn’t have quite the pouty attitude this photo suggests, he did work hard, and he didn’t complain, and for that I am grateful.
However, joyful heart or not, it was a very worth-while activity – and not just for what it does for those who are hungry in our community. I certainly don’t want to minimize the need for helping hands to feed the poor. But for my boy there were some other lessons to be learned too.
One of the things we talked about in the truck on the way home was how his back ached after just 1.5 hours of that kind of work, and what it must be like for the often Hispanic or other minority workers who pick beans all day long six and seven days a week in order to feed their families, and that those people still need the help of food banks because the wages are often so low. I think the physical challenge of the work was an eye opener for J.
It was also an opportunity for J to experience communal work on a project that gives them no personal benefit. While it was not a social hour for sure, there was still some bonding that came from working together – especially since on this particular night kids club was only attended by boys.
In the end these boys picked 75 pounds of beans, that were added to those picked earlier in the day to make almost 300 pounds of beans – that’s 300 families who will have fresh veggies with their dinner later this week because of the boys work. That is a big number for those boys to process. I think it is something we will talk about again – 300 families is easily over 1000 people blessed by 1.5 hours of work.
I was only there at the tail end of the activity to take photos and pick-up my boy and his friends. But as I strolled through the garden I saw lots of these veggies (photo below). My question is:
What is that?
If you know, leave a comment and educate me.
This post is part of the weekly This or That Thursday challenge over at Deb’s blog.
It is also part of Rural Thursday’s at Nancy’s blog?
Won’t you join us with one or the other or both of these blog challenges?