Bringing my four year old to the store–any store–can be a challenge. Usually he wants to do his own thing, running from aisle to aisle in search of who knows what. I often tell him exactly what it is we are going to the store for so that there is no confusion but yet today, he was really excited to go to Duane Reade, and thankfully the store wasn’t so busy so he explored the store the way he wanted to (with me trailing close behind of course).
I told him that we were going to get fun school supplies for a child who needed it, so we were going to get to pick out fun things like crayons, pencils, and more to put in a really fun book bag for donation.
When we got there he was immediately distracted by the tall set of cars near the entrance of the store. Well played, Duane Reade. Once he chose his car of choice to add to the 6 bazillion other cars we have in the house it was time to go back to school shopping.
Before I got here I had done a little research on what a Pre-K child would need for school. Of course, I left that list right on my kitchen table. (Don’t you hate when that happens?) So instead of googling it on my iPhone, I didn’t have to worry because there were lists already provided to me by Operation Backpack.
You see, we would be donating a full backpack full of items to be given to a homeless child that needed it for school. There are boxes in Duane Reade stores all over the city. The boxes had guides with exact items of what were needed:
This made things so easy! I was able to pick up all of the things on the list very easily because all of the back to school items were extremely organized and easy to find.
Of course my son found something that he really loves, aka anything that has to do with the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles (as you can see by his favorite shirt, totally not planned!) So he got this as a treat for all of his good will.
Next we gathered all of the items and placed them on the floor so that he could fill the book bag he chose (Spiderman…of course) with all of the items that we got for the pre-k student.
We took all of the items to the register, paid for them, including two cars (one for him and his brother) and his TMNT coloring book. We took the (re) packed book bag over to the donation box and put it in and told him that he just did something fantastic. He was helping someone who really needed it.
I am not sure how much he understood about what he was doing, but I am hoping that the seed was planted. So that when we volunteer in the future we can refer back to this time so that he can begin to understand the importance of giving back to his community.
To see more of our fun experience and really great Duane Reade products please see my Google+ Album for more!
How do you teach your children (or the children in your life) to give back to the community?