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July 14, 2016
"We'll take 150 please!" Meals on Wheels may as well have said this when 12-year-old Ethan's family heard of our Service to Go projects and decided to gather friends and schoolmates together to create a whopping 150 placemats for the program, which serves meals to the elderly in their homes.
Service to Go is a collection of projects provided through our website that can be completed at your leisure. Choose a project that interests you or your family and friends, gather materials, assemble or create, and then send us your results! We distribute hygiene kits, placemats, blankets, and other goods donated through this program every year.
When the Keller family decided to move to Colorado, they were looking for ways for Ethan to engage with his community. With four children, Sarah Keller wanted something easy for her kids to participate in. The Service to Go options gave Ethan and his family a variety of projects to choose from, which they could do at their leisure. This was appealing, but Ethan was so excited about the project that he asked his mother Sarah if he could invite his friends.
With Sarah's help, Ethan took the next step and expanded the project by inviting friends and peers from school to participate in Service to Go projects. The first project they chose was to create placemats. Approximately 50 people attended the first group meeting, which was held in May, including kids ranging from as little as 1 1/2 years old, through high school youth, and even college students. Sarah was thrilled with the opportunity, with Ethan's energy regarding the project, and the involvement of the community.
"As Ethan’s mom," said Sarah, "I can say without a doubt, I had no idea that Ethan’s little idea would take off like it did. I am so excited for what he has learned throughout this experience. He stepped out of his comfort zone, AND he experienced firsthand what it feels like to do good things. Additionally, he had to organize the meeting, talk about it to everyone, gather the supplies needed, and then actually run the meeting." What a great learning experience!
The group has plans underway to complete a flashcard project over the summer or during the coming school semester. "All of my children talk about the 'next' project we are going to do," Sarah says. "I know that they feel good. About themselves. About being able to actually help someone else. About their abilities. And that makes this momma’s heart do a happy dance." As Ethan says about his participation in this project, "Most kids want to help - they just don't always know how, or even who needs their help. I love that I get to hang out with my friends and do something that helps someone else at the same time. As my mom would say, that's a Win-Win!"
To learn more about the variety of Service to Go projects available, browse the Service to Go section of our website here. For more information regarding Meals on Wheels, visit their website here. Please contact United Way of Larimer County with any other questions or comments.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County