December 23, 2013

Kids Cook in Monday Service Project

Last week, I asked Hunter to think of a service he could provide during the holidays, and after much back and forth, he came up with a perfect holiday service project.  All of his ideas revolved around food, though.  First he wanted to bake a ton of cookies for the woman next door, which was lovely, but I explained that baking for someone who lives a pretty comfortable life is more of a gift than a service project.  Then he decided to bake muffins for homeless people.  The only problem is that there are exactly zero homeless people sitting on curbs in our town.  About once every 3 months there is one man in front of the Wal-Mart with a sign, but we haven't seen him in a while.  So he thought and he thought about where on earth he could find some people who might, need his baked goods.  Finally, he decided to adopt the trailer park that we pass every day.

We bought cake mix so that the kids could assemble everything on their own.  It just isn't really their project when I do all the kitchen work and they hand it out.  I wanted them to be at the helm of every step, so Marie Callendar's it was!  Hunter got Hannah Jane and Haven to help him bake a dozen mini Christmas cakes, we wrapped them in foil and loaded them up in a box to take door to door.

Poor Hunter has had the hives for 5 days now, and has been absolutely miserable.  Still, swollen hands and all, he carried out his project.  Today we took him to the doc for a steroid treatment and it was straight from the pharmacy to the trailer community.  Hannah Jane carried his box of goodies and at each door he would get a loaf, knock on the door, and smile and say merry Christmas as he shoved a cake into the hands of the tenant.  

To know Hunter is to know how devastatingly shy he is.  But every now and again he musters courage and it is usually at the most wonderful times.  Like when he said the prayer for the western states in front of a hundred or so people at Unit Convention.  And like today, when he not only knocked on the doors of strangers, but looked them in the eye and cheerful offered them a gift.  It is very unlike him to look much of  anyone in the eye, so today just blew me away.  

When it was all said and done, they kids were surprised by how excited everyone was to see them.  Many people leaned out the door and yelled a holiday greeting to me in the van.  They were all smiles and cheer.  My favorite drop was the very last home, where the kids waited and waited at the door and I finally flagged them back to the van.  Just as they hit the snow, the door opened and the slowest and sweetest elderly woman cracked the door and said, "Hey, come back!"  The kids ran back and handed her their very last cake and she held it like it was a treasure.  She stood there and kept her eye on them until the van pulled away.  It was really sweet. 

I'm noticing that I tend to post more what we do with the cooking rather than recipes for these Monday posts.  I fully intended to share Hunter's Chicken Soup recipe today (maybe next week!), but food as a vehicle for service seemed like the perfect holiday gift to the campaign.  Having kids that cook is certainly a gift for me.  For more information on the Kids Cook Monday campaign, and how to get your kids cooking for fun or for service, click over to their site and see what they're cooking up!

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