For the past 6 years our Youth Group has used their day off from school on MLK Day to serve their community. Whether down Cape or in our own backyard, they wake up early, give of their time and try to make this world a better place. In the past we have partnered with AmeriCorps Cape Cod, the Falmouth Service Center and this past year, partnered with the Happy Hope Foundation in Bourne for the first time.
Over the years we have helped with environmental projects such as repurposing materials into household items, picked up trash along busy roads and more. We’ve also helped socially by making care packages for the homeless, sorted out items at our local food pantry and more. This year we were excited to help another group of individuals who deserve our love; children who are hospitalized with special needs or chronic and life-threatening illnesses. The Happy Hope Foundation was founded in 2011, born out of the desire to bring hope and happiness to hospitalized children. And almost 10 years later and the foundation has helped over 500,000 children in every single state (and children in Canada and the UK) by providing one-of-a-kind bags that include activity mats, games, toys, stuffed animals, socks and other special items. Our group had the pleasure of preparing the contents that are to go in these bags.
Our morning started off by meeting at the church to carpool up to Bourne. Years past it’s been VERY cold, so we were happy to one, not have to serve outside. About 15 minutes later we made it to the factory and were immediately put to work. There were different stations to volunteers throughout the facility. Our students in particular helped pack crayons into individual bags, others sorted paper materials into packaging, some had to peel off price tags from stuffed animal tags, still others had to pair socks. These tasks were pretty effortless but provided us a lot of time to connect with each other and have a really good time.
The cool thing about the Happy Hope Factory is that it is open for children and adults to volunteer at any time. We strongly recommend you to check out their website and/or reach out to them if you’re interested in volunteering with them.
Although we didn’t get to hand-deliver the Hope Bags, we knew what we were doing was making a difference. Before even touching anything we had to sanitize our hands because we didn’t want to pass along any bacteria that would harm anyone. We often take our health for granted until we don’t feel well. The common cold, sore throat or stomach bug can get us down. This was a good opportunity to remind us to be thankful for our health and pray for those who are fighting for their lives. In this small act of kindness, we hope you know how much we’re rooting for every recipient of a Hope Bag.
Thank you so much to Brian Linton and Jaime Sterling for chaperoning with us! We had a blast serving alongside you. We hope you had fun!