family activity · story · teaching thoughts

What is Given From the Heart

I was looking for something different to share. There are so many Valentine books out there for you to share with your kiddos, but I wanted something with more meaning. Something with more depth of love. I stumbled across What is Given From the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack. This is a touching story about compassion, resilience, gratitude and community. James Otis and his Mama have had a rough couple of months. Mama tell James Otis that “Misery loves company” but, as long as they have their health and strength, they are blessed. One Sunday in February they go to church the the Revered tells about the community creating Love Boxes for those in the community who are less fortunate. He tells them about a mother and daughter who lost everything in a fire. Mama says that she and James Otis need to give something to this family. James Otis struggles to find something worth giving, but plays over and over in his head the words he heard “what is given from the heart, reaches the heart”

Ok.. that was a longer recap than I normally give, but this story is very touching and a worthwhile read. We are living in a pandemic. There are so many families who are struggling to get by. There are so many who need a little more. Children love to help people. They do not always understand the struggle of others, but they know that people need help. What can you do to help your child see how (s)he can give from the heart. Look around your community. Is there a food bank you can contribute to? Is there a retirement community that is on lockdown that your child can mail pictures or stories? Is there a children’s hospital that your child can pick out stuffed animals to donate to or draw pictures? Write thank you cards and bake cookies to bring to the police, fire, hospital.

We all need to remember that we are a community. That we need to work together to help our neighbors. That when we give from the heart, we reach the heart!

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