St. Joseph first-grade teacher Amy Doyle had a reason for sharing her favorite book “Everybody Can Help Somebody” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with her students.
“I read it to the kids to build a sense of the fact that there are people right here in our community who don’t have a home, who don’t have something to eat,” Mrs. Doyle said. “We can’t get all these people homes, and we can’t feed everybody every night, but we can do something.”
But how can a first-grader help?
Mrs. Doyle’s class created 80 Outreach Bags – simple brown bags decorated by the children.
“I told them to decorate the bags with whatever they think would make someone smile,” Mrs. Doyle said.
They filled the bags with granola bars, water, tissue, gum, wipes, and a verse of Scripture selected by the class.
No identifying markers were included, just joy.
“This is an anonymous sign of Christ’s love, so it’s totally safe,” Mrs. Doyle said. “It was pretty impressive when we had all 80 of them together.”
Mrs. Doyle gave the children three bags each to keep in their car. When they saw someone in need – and only if accompanied by their parent – they could give that person one of their bags. If they ran out of bags, they could get more until all 80 were gone.
“It might be little, and the food may be gone in an hour, but it is something,” Mrs. Doyle said. “With this project, I thought we could help people right here.”
The children were eager to share their Outreach Bag experiences. One student was able to give away a bag the next morning after a dentist appointment.
“She said they stopped at a light and saw someone with a sign that said, ‘Anything will help’,” Mrs. Doyle said. “She got to give him the bag, and he said thank you. When I asked how it made her feel, she said ‘Really good’.”
Really good, indeed.