Seafair’s No. 1 eLves: Our goal was to build community strength and resilience during this time apart by lifting spirits inside individual homes. We created and distributed 100 comfort kits to drop off to homes in our neighbourhood to spread cheer and tackle social isolation.
Our 6- and 8-year-old children were part of the process from start to finish -designing and creating the artwork, painting and writing messages on the rocks, and folding the origami cranes. They enjoyed picking up each bag (while wearing masks), distributing the kits, and waving and wishing “Happy Holidays” to those who heard their doorbells and saw us walking away after delivery. Our children thoroughly enjoyed spreading kindness and happiness with each good deed. It was a reverse trick or treating experience that left our family feeling proud about giving away these care kits.
Our children felt “happy” and “helpful” and a sense of purpose in this endeavour. One of our daughters noted that she felt “useful” because she had previously felt “useless” as we are usually more active, more out and about, and more social with her friends. By going around the neighbourhood and distributing the care kits, she saw the people picking up the care kits and thanking them. I don’t think our children realized the impact they made on uplifting spirits until she saw the people picking them up.
It was good to see our neighbours be appreciative of the kits; we intended for these kits to be a spreading of good cheer, but you never know how they would be received. It was also good for our children to be a part of the planning and organizing process. They played a role in what went in the kits, creating the artwork, planning the route around the neighbourhood that we would follow, and how they were packed up.
The whole process went off quite well as we were able to give ourselves plenty of time to make our own deadlines by making sure our application went in early enough and the approval process went quite quickly. We enjoyed the process knowing that the end goal was to put some smiles on the faces of our neighbours.
We encourage others to take advantage of these Neighbourhood Small Grants and help build back our community feeling.