A Little Bag of Sidewalk Chalk

FINALCOLLAGEService Play Groups, a long held dream, became a reality this summer!

FINALGLOBELet me be honest, I struggled. We had over three hundred families express interest on our facebook page, and I fielded email questions in abundance. Our first week we had a large group, but every week after the group was small. My first thought was that people attended the first week, hated it and didn’t come back. This is what my mind does. It was the depth of summer, and people are so busy. The timing was to open the door for whole families to come, but probably would have been better started a little later and not so close to dinner time. I was worried the families that attended would be disappointed with the small groups. I went home every night and worried instead of feeling joy.

FINALLISA

I share this because whenever you put yourself out there you face vulnerability.

The enemy really loves for us to get into our heads and tell ourselves we are not good enough. It’s my life-long fight.

He wants us to fixate on things like numbers that are completely irrelevant to the kingdom of God. Want to know why?

because then we don’t look at all the small, hidden beauty he offers us.

 

Like…

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The fact that a dream became a reality! We gave over one hundred welcome and birthday bags to Holland Rescue Mission, a trunkful of high-need supplies to Community Action House, a bicycle to a girl to access education through World Vision, two sets of vaccinations to a child through Shot@Life, and seven fruit tree seedlings for families in Bangladesh through World Renew. We were able to use the books donated to us by Citizen Kids Books!

 

FINALJODI

Many wonderful partnership were grown and will be forever friendships. There are many like-minded people in our communities and world, we need to fight to bring them together. We will be continuing into the forever future. Connect with our facebook page, or talk to myself or Jodi Baron! We would LOVE to partner with you. We have some exciting ideas taking shape for this coming year.

FINALFAMILIES

 

All the sweet families who took the time to attend and give. I appreciate you all so much. And so many young people were able to be leaders and guide stations for younger kids! It was so great to watch. All the kids were so wise and insightful during the stories. Kids understand justice so beautifully. We can make such a difference when we come together.

 

 

We needed a significant amount of supplies to launch service play groups. My parents invested in this dream by purchasing all the supplies. They helped me load them up and clean up every single week. All while my Mom is going through a tedious time of treatment for cancer. I am thankful and humbled by the fact that they still support my dreams.

FINALPETERSENFinally…

Every week children would drift into our play group area. They were alone, no families, sometimes siblings. They came from the community, some from the park and others from our neighborhood church. They added a great deal to our time together. There was one little boy, who asked to take some sidewalk chalk home because he didn’t have any. My friend Jen tied some up in a plastic bag for him and he happily went on his way that evening.

As I watched him walk into the distance, after a thirty-six year battle with not feeling good enough, I let it go with that one bag of sidewalk chalk.

FINALCHALK

The world tells us:

perfection, the bigger the better, stronger. you need to be popular, dynamic, numbers are everything.

But not feeling good enough makes it about me, and its not. It just really is not. God is going to use your dreams, and absolutely everything you do for his good, regardless of your weaknesses and perceived failures.

When you are not feeling good enough…

look for what is there, like a little bag of sidewalk chalk.

 

That is beauty. That is making a difference.

And we are going to keep doing it.

 

Planet Ark

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Our last summer service play group took place this past Tuesday! We had such a great time for all five weeks. I’m so thankful.

We read the story Planet Ark about how we can all be modern-day Noah’s through caring for our environment.

We were able to support seven families in Bangladesh in receiving a fruit tree seedling that will provide food and income through World Renew.

The kids made leaf creatures and were awesome at the nature scavenger hunt!

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Next week I would like share about the groups more personally, but for today I’m so thankful they became a reality, for all the participants, support, and amazing difference makers! And… there will be more. Hopefully forever and forever.

About Proximity formed some wonderful partnerships and we will be moving to hold more events throughout the year with Jodi Baron of Grace Episcopal Church in Holland.

Please, join our facebook service play group page for details and opportunities!

We’d love your ideas and to partner with you. I really mean that! Partnerships are what make a difference in our world. Every story and everything we did was better because we worked together as a community!  aboutproximity@gmail.com

 

 

 

Planet Ark

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Last week we read Mimi’s Village and talked about clean water, vaccinations, and global health care. We supported Shot@Life, a movement to protect children worldwide, by providing life-saving vaccines where they are most needed. We were able to support two children with a full vaccination set against polio, measles, diarrhea, and pneumonia. The kids were able to lift a jerry can partially full of water to get an idea of how heavy it is transport your own water.

We also had a stuffed animal vaccination clinic! Thank you Nurse Mackenzie, Nurse Ellie, Dr. Julie, and Dr. Rebecca for immunizing our favorite lovies!

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Our last summer play group is this Tuesday, July 14 at 6:00pm at Kollen Park in Holland!

We will be reading the book Planet Ark.

Bring along $1.00 if you are able for fruit tree seedlings for families in Bangladesh through World Renew. Your purchase of a fruit tree seedling helps a subsistence farm family improve their land and grow fruit to feed their family and to sell for income.

We will have a nature scavenger hunt, leaf creatures craft, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, inflatable world volleyball, and egg and spoon relays.PlanetArkPlayGroupWe have had so much fun, we hope to combine forces and continue play groups for the West Michigan area past this summer! Make sure to join our Service Play Group Facebook Page to get all the updates as we make a difference together as a community! I’d love to partner with you, contact me with ideas :) aboutproximity@gmail.com

 

 

Mimi’s Village

REDBIKECOLLAGE

Last week we had a little group, but that didn’t stop us from making a big difference!

In a world were numbers are a big deal, we can be reminded that what you do does matter so very much.

We were able to read the story The Red Bicycle. The red bicycle began with a boy named Leo in the United States, then journeyed to Burkina Faso to Alisetta, who grew her family’s sorghum crop with its help. Later, a young woman named Haridata, used the bicycle as a clinic ambulance! We had our own bike parade to celebrate the power of one bike!

We were able with the help of Grace Episcopal Churchs’ Lent collection raise money for a bicycle through World Vision to help a girl have a safe pathway to education!

Mimi's Village Play Group

We hope you can come out to this week’s group!

We will be reading Mimi’s Village and talking about clean water and immunizations.

Remember to bring along a stuffed animal for our ‘immunization clinic’! We will also be participating in a water carrying relay, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, inflatable world volleyball, soccer, and a coloring page.

If you are able please bring along $1.00 to support Shot@Life. $20.00 protects a child in the developing world from pneumonia, polio, measles, and diarrhea. We also have five adult and 5 children’s t-shirts from Shot@Life to give away!

 

We have had so much fun, we hope to combine forces and continue play groups for the West Michigan area past this summer! Make sure to join our Service Play Group Facebook Page to get all the updates as we make a difference together as a community!

 

 

 

 

The Red Bike

Onehencollage

We had a great time last week at our second play group One Hen! We read the true story of Kojo and how a microloan led to a hen that changed the lives of a family, community, and country. We were able to take a trunkful of high-need supplies to Community Action House. I’m so thankful for all the families that have taken the time to come out to the park this summer. Above you can see a talented group of egg balancers!

So many sweet world changers.

TheRedBicyclePlayGroup

We really hope to see you this coming Tuesday evening, June 30 at 6:00 pm. (Kollen Park, on the east side of the public bathrooms.)

We will be reading The Red Bicycle about the journey of one red bike!

If you are able please bring $1.00 for World Vision USA to purchase bicycles for girls needing safe transportation to school!

Bring along a scooter, bike, skateboard, stroller! Anything with wheels! We’ll be having a bike parade around the upper sidewalk loop of Kollen Park.

After our Make Difference Bike Parade come over for play stations! Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, sack races, world volleyball, hula hoops, and a bicycle craft.

One Hen

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Last Tuesday evening, we held our first summer service play group! We were able to gather about 100 welcome kits for Holland Rescue Mission. We had super intelligent kids during the story If the World Were a Village, great helpers, and sweet families making a difference together. Wetfeet ACTS shared beautiful artwork about the book.

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I’m so thankful to everyone for taking time from a busy summer evening to give back to our community. It made my heart so happy. Also, I am so thankful to everyone who helped and offered encouragement, projects like this take a village, just like we learned in the book!

OneHenHunger

I’m so excited for this week’s group, around the story One Hen.

Tuesday June 23: One Hen
6:00 PM at Kollen Park! (We are on the east side of the public bathrooms)

One Hen is the story of Kojo and the one hen that changed the future of an entire village. Join in on the egg and spoon relay race, farm animal puppets, sidewalk chalk, sack races, world volleyball, soccer, and bubbles.

We will be supporting Community Action House. Here are the items they shared with us that are high need. Items they continually run low or completely out of. Please bring an item or more if you are able!

Laundry Soap
Dish Soap
Bar Soap
Multipurpose Cleaners
Toilet Paper
Shampoo and Conditioner
Feminine Hygiene Items

We are so excited to see you!

If the World Were a Village

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Two and a half days of school left for us. After another year, I know how important it is to love- beyond what you feel, others response, the deepest challenges- you don’t let go. You refuse to break. Jesus asks it of us and we have a beautiful life when we can do our best to give that love others. A very beautiful life.

For the next five weeks it’ll be about Summer Serve Play Groups! I’ll share the upcoming play group details, and later in the week share photographs from our evening together. We begin next week, but I’ll start now and leave this one up a little longer.

 

Here is the post with printable PDFs for all the groups.

Join the Facebook Event Page here.

Do you have kids 10 and up that might like to serve by helping with a play station for the younger kids? Sign up here. 

 

We are so excited to meet you all and join together in community to learn and make a difference together! I’ve been waking in the early morning hours, which means a little bit of nervous and also a chance to pray for God to establish our work.

iftheworldwereavillage

Our first group is June 16 at 6:00 pm at Kollen Park in Holland. (Parking in the Kollen Park lots and the streets surrounding.) If rains happens (don’t happen) I’ll let you know on the Facebook Event Page by 5:00 if we’ll go ahead or need to cancel.

We will be reading portions of If the World Were a Village from CitizenKid Books.

Here is a Printable PDF of If the World Were a Village group.

We will be welcoming the kids of ACTs to share art from the book! Our play stations will be a coloring page, bubbles, world volleyball, soccer, sidewalk chalk, and sack races.

 

We would love for families to contribute to our serve project supporting the local ministry of Holland Rescue Mission. The mission’s volunteer director shared these ideas. This is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about need in the community and how we can respond, while gathering supplies together. You can work together with another family to bring a donation too! Just bring it along and we will gather them all together for the mission.

Ideas for Kid Kits for the Holland Rescue Mission:

Rescue Mission Welcome Kit:

  • travel size shampoo, soap, and lotion
  • kids size toothpaste and toothbrush
  • small comb
  • small crayon pack and small pad of paper
  • sippy cup, or kid-size cup with top and straw
  • bedtime story book
  • stuffed animal (beanie boo or beanie baby sized)
  • Packaged in a bag
  • Include a welcome card with each kit (hand-drawn picture)

Birthday Kit:

  • Balloons
  • Birthday Candles
  • Cake Mix
  • Frosting
  • Gift Wrap
  • Small Childrens Toy or Book
  • Packaged into a bag

Stepping Stone Daycare and Rock Day Camp:

Snack Kit:

  • Granola Bar
  • Fruit Snack
  • Pre-Packaged Cracker Pack (Goldfish, Cheez-Its)
  • All Packaged together in a large sized Zip-Loc bag

Daycare Kit:

  • Puffs Tissues
  • WetOnes
  • ColorWonder Paper and Marker Supplies

Email me with any questions! aboutproximity@gmail.com

For all those not in Holland, hold tight… my hope is for this to be a full resource for families and groups to use in the future. So thankful for all of you!