Have you ever noticed how many of these feel-good stories are about big-hearted half-pints? I never cease to be impressed by the kindness of kids. While doing research this week for a new magazine assignment about good deeds, I “met” (using the term loosely, since all introductions were conducted through cyberspace) a family that puts its plane tickets where its mouth is.
The Jones family lives in Montreal. Like many Canadians, they recently took a summer holiday. They didn’t exactly beat the heat – they opted to vacay in Jamaica – but it was a memorable trip all the same. The family, which includes two boys aged nine and 12, made a giant-sized good deed a part of their getaway package. They decided to bring gifts to a children’s home.
“We had originally planned to take donations just from our family,” Momma Jones says. “But when we realized that the airline would let us each check a bag, we expanded our goal.” Now they reached out to friends and neighbours and started collecting in earnest. The boys devoted themselves to telling potential donors all about their intended beneficiaries: children who had no living relatives, or whose families were just too poor to raise them.
“My kids were so excited every time something was dropped off for us to take with us,” says their mom. Her older son had the idea of packaging individual grab bags for each kid, explaining it thusly: “If you lived in a children’s home, it would be nice to get something that is ‘yours.’”
I don’t think these boys will ever forget the impact they managed to make this summer on a group of kids they’d never met before. After personally delivering 150 pounds of stuff to the home, they stayed to play and talk. When younger boy Jones produced a ball and hollered, “Who wants to play football?”, the sheer joy displayed on the other kids’ faces was something that’ll stay with this family forever.
“For a few hours, these kids knew that they were thought about and loved,” says Mom. She’s teaching her boys that giving isn’t just about contributing cash. “Writing a cheque is the easy way to try to help,” she says. “But we are all about giving with our hearts, too.”