On my birthday we participated in a clothing drive for the members of the Philadelphia wards. It was a lot of work to get it going, but we did it and we had more clothes than we could have ever expected!! The members of our ward, the Valley Forge 1st Ward were so great and I really appreciate all the people who donated and worked with us.
On another note - I just have to tell about how un-helpful my children were. It was almost comical. When I put this activity together I thought it would be such a great opportunity for families to participate in a great service project. In my mind I envisioned the boys helping to put clothes on the tables and working along side us. But alas, there is a HUGE gap between reality and fantasy. The boys (and I mostly mean Ben) refused to help. Mike was organizing shoes and he dropped one on the floor and asked Ben to pick it up. Ben refused this offer most adamantly. Mike once again, more sternly, encouraged Ben to pick up the shoe. Again, Ben refused. Now it became serious. Voices were raised, tears were shed, and Ben ran away. I found him cowering outside the door, still refusing to pick up the dang shoe. How long are we supposed to fight our battles? This one would have to be discussed later.
Later on, I talked to Ben about the purpose of the clothing drive and how it is important to participate in serving others, in doing whatever we are able to do. Finally, I asked him why he would not pick up the shoe. Ben told me that there were germs on the shoe. OH NO!!! Ben has always been a cautious little man, but a germaphobe? This was worse than I thought! I told him that we were all touching the clothes and shoes and washed our hands later. The germs weren't going to hurt us. I couldn't help but think how when I was a kid the last thing I thought of was germs. I was probably covered in them all the time. Playing in the dirt, in the gutters, in city creeks. Have I done this to my child? Am I a germaphobe? I think I will encourage them to get dirty a little more often.