It’s quite simple, being valued and feeling valued are two very different things. Do the people that you value in your life know it? Do they feel valued?
Last week, during spring break (I swear, it was spring break even though it looks like the dead of winter in my pictures below), my boys and I set out to shower a few people with love by making sure that they knew just how valued they are. We wanted to go beyond simply internally appreciating them and instead show them. We wanted them to know, directly from us, that we appreciate all that they are doing.
First, we knew we wanted to support a local business, and we love donuts from a little shop called Bronuts (side note, they really have the best hashtag: #gonutsforbronuts)… so we started there! We contacted them to make sure they could accommodate us by providing curbside pick up (so my boys and I didn’t have to go into the store), and asked if they could pack our donuts in individual bags (so that we wouldn’t have to handle them and could safely hand them out). They agreed and we hit the ground running! So exciting!
Then, we came up with a play on words and made cards that read: We DONUT want you to forget how appreciated you are. Thank you for providing an essential service during these challenging times.
Our family watched this simple Art for Kids Hub learn to draw video in order to draw a super cute donut (donuts can be cute, right?), and we completed our cards.
The next morning, we packed our cards and headed to Bronuts to pick up our order. On our drive there, we continued discussing who we might surprise with our sweet treats. This led to great conversations with my boys because at first, they wanted to surprise their friends, or our neighbours. Usually, this would be a great place to start, but on this day, we had a specific purpose to bring joy to people who are providing an essential service.
By the time we got to the shop, my boys had several ideas of who they might choose. We paid for the donuts, and with the most incredible smell filling our car, we drove around looking for deserving people.
First, Brecken spotted a police car! “There, maman!” My oldest son had the idea of pulling up to their car at a red light and asking them to pull over… and that’s just what we did. After a quick honk and rolling our windows down, we explained that we were doing random acts of kindness and that we had something for them to show our appreciation. We asked if they had a minute to pull over. It was kind of fun to pull over cops. 🙂
Next, Brooks wanted to make sure that his optometrist felt loved. This was a very special choice for him because the week prior, he had broken his glasses while playing with his brothers. With everyone self isolating and businesses either shutting down or limiting the people they could serve, our kind doctor not only fixed Brooks’ glasses, but also picked them up from our door step and then dropped them off afterwards.
Emmett chose to surprised fire fighters. We pulled up to a fire hall and knocked on the door. The man’s smile was so bright and Emmett was thrilled to have gotten to see their dog.
Caden chose to surprise a working at the McDonald’s drive thru. To him, this represented everyone who works in restaurants and helps to give people ready to eat food who either don’t have time to cook or are too tired to.
Next was my choice. We pulled up to Sobey’s, our community grocery store, and I ran in and gave my card and donut to the lovely young lady who was wiping down and sanitizing the carts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about how grateful I am that we are still able to go out and buy groceries. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if this essential service was taken away.
Our 6th card and final donut was a special one for our dear neighbour who has been working ridiculously long hours as a nurse in the hospital. When we got home, she was at work, but we left it with her husband and sent her a text of what she could expect when she finally did get to go home later that day.
All and all, it was a terrific morning and there’s no doubt in my mind that our simple acts of kindness brought these people joy and also reminded them that they are seen and so very appreciated. I can only hope that we helped them go feel valued, instead of simply being valued.
That distinction is important. What can you do today to make sure that those around you feel valued?