One of our Giving Hope projects was volunteering at a shelter of some kind. This was kinda hard to do because most of them won't allow kids under 18. Some of them are not appropriate for our younger kids (shelter for battered women) and still others are overwhelmed with volunteers this time of year.
Thankfully Brown Bear's karate organization was doing a mission project at a Children's Home in the somewhat-local area. I jumped on this right away. The boys were excited about it because they were going to get to do some board-breaking and sparring. The girls just like to buy gifts for others so this was right up their alley.
We recieved 2 names. One is a 14yo boy and the other is a 16yo girl. This made it fairly easy to shop for them since they were the ages of some of our kids. We had a lot of fun shopping for them. They provided a list of ideas for us, which was also extremely helpful.
The karate demo involved katas, sparring, skits, and board breaking. Lion Cub participated in one kata and broke one board. Brown Bear did a 6 1/2 foot jump front kick and a flying side-kick over 2 people!
Then the group passed out the gifts and watched the kids open their presents and visited with them. Our boy was very talkative and told his some of his history and why he was there. It made Monkey really stop and think about her home life and how much she takes for granted. Our girl was not able to come so we just visited with her for just a few minutes as we were leaving.
Brown Bear enjoyed meeting new people. He wanted to play basketball with T but he couldn't because it had to approved through several different people and agencies. He was frustrated with that but also realized what you trade for a few minutes of "fun".
On the drive home we talked about how enticing the World's version of fun is. What you trade for those few minutes of fun. Very sobering and thought provoking.