the kindness of strangers

Each year in kindergarten we learn about communities.  One focus of our unit is an action piece: how can YOU help the community?  In the past we have done a food drive.  The kindergartners collect the food from the collection bins around the school, graph how much food each grade brought in, etc. but let’s be honest.  It was WAY more teacher work than kid work.

This year we decided to try something new.  We partnered up with the organization 363 Days to make sandwiches that will be handed out to the homeless in Minneapolis.

I loved it for a couple of reasons.

  1. The kids where I teach – they don’t have much.  Yet they wanted to give what they could.  What a great lesson to learn at a young age.
  2. The kids got to actually MAKE the sandwiches that will go to the homeless.  So empowering for them.  They were super excited to help the people in the community who don’t have money to buy their own food.
  3. We partnered up with older classes to help our little fingers – so lots of people in the school were involved.
  4. Watching kids try and make meat and cheese sandwiches with giant gloves on their little tiny hands was a bit hilarious.  They of course took the whole thing super seriously.

We collected donations of food supplies and money from the students.  We divided up the shopping list and several K teachers went to the store to buy absurd amounts of meat and bread.  My friend Beth shared the following story of her experience at Cub Foods.

I was in line at the check out with an obscene amount of bread.
As I started to place all of the loaves onto the conveyor belt the little girl ahead of me said:
“Mommy, look at all that bread she is buying.  She must really like sandwiches.”
After I finished laughing I told the little girl that the Kindergarten students at my school were
making sandwiches for homeless people in Minneapolis.  The mother explained to her daughter
what a neat idea it was to make food for people who cannot afford to buy their own.
After she and her daughter finished checking out, the mother turned to me and handed me a Cub
Foods gift card which ended up covering the cost of all of the bread.
Amazing…. 🙂