Trick or Treat for Hope 2011

Today I’m going to throw out a few posts about service projects we’ve done in our family the last couple of months.  It’s been a wonderful time of connecting with each other and our world.  Reaching out, trying new things – I’ve really enjoyed it.  There is such a “filling up” that happens when we serve others. 

And right now, yes, I plan out ways we can serve.  But this is just to make sure we develop the habits.  It is truly hard to develop some habits – especially ones that make us step outside our comfort zones, that take time out of our already-busy schedules, and that use up our energy and resources.

It’s so worth it – the things we give up, the time we spend – it’s so worth it.

My hope is that one day service will be so much a part of us, that no schedule need be done, it just happens.

My husband has run a food drive every Halloween since I’ve known him.  He started Trick or Treat for Hope with his youth group way back, and has carried on the tradition wherever he’s been.  Many versions and variations of this event have popped over the years, and many of the major organizations like Free the Children have picked up on the idea in one way or another.

Every year at our church, youth from our congregation, their friends, and other youth  from around the city gather to go out and take part in a different kind of trick or treating.  They collect non-perishable food items for the local food bank, then the food bank truck comes and loads up at the end of the night.  Groups compete to see who brings in the most pounds of food per person.  It’s all good fun.

Last year, Amy challenged me to involve our children.  Sometimes she challenges me like that, and I’m grateful for the push I need at times, and the support she gives.

It went really well last year and our children collected a couple of wagon-loads of food, as well as tons of treats for their treat bags!

This year we tried again, and half-filled a grocery cart! 

The kids really enjoyed this – they are getting very bold in asking people to donate as they were giving them candy.  Most people responded in a very positive way, some didn’t want to participate but were still very friendly, and we just had a great time!

After an hour or so, the kids (and us) were getting tired… and it was time to wrap up this Halloween night, drop our collected items back at the church, and call it a very successful night!

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