“No! Please! You just got home and I planned a tea party!”
These are the words of 7-year old Laila as her dad, Ryan, is getting ready to leave for a bunk bed delivery after being at work all day.
Laila has seen her dad go on many bed deliveries, but has never really thought much about it until now.
“Why are you always bringing beds to people anyway?”
Ryan takes the time to explain to her that not everyone is as fortunate as their family and some kids have to sleep on the floor because their parents can’t afford beds or other things they need.
After thinking about what her dad just said, Laila jumps up and says, “Ok, you can go … I’ll be right back!” She runs up to her room, empties her piggy bank and comes back down with $6.52.
“Here. Take this, so the parents can buy beds for their kids and other things they need.”
Thoughts of a tea party were gone and her heart quickly responded the way her dad has modeled for her. To a 7-year old, $6.52 is a lot of money. The amount did not faze her – Laila saw a need and knew she could help.
To all of you moms, dads, aunts, uncles, foster parents, grandparents, caregivers, small group leaders …
Your children you are around are always watching you. They are listening when you think they’re pre-occupied with the coloring page in front of them. They see your daily routines and the things your heart focuses on.
They know what matters to you even if you don’t talk about it.
If you want your kids to grow up to be compassionate – show compassion to others.
If you want your kids to grow up to be giving with their time – give your time freely.
If you want your kids to grow up to love their neighbors – you guessed it – LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS!
When they’re old enough to ask questions and comprehend what you’re doing, talk to them about it.
Until then, show them.
Ryan Imhof and his wife, Katelyn have two kids – Laila, 7 and Reed, 2. Ryan has volunteered on the Love Your Neighbor team for over 2 years.