Juliana, my 2nd grader, excitedly comes up to me before bed time last night with the squeeze bottle of strawberry preserves. I was curious immediately, because Juliana is adamantly Anti-PB&J, so I figured anything that meant she was carrying around a bottle of preserves would be interesting.
"MOM! MOM! Before I forget! I have to bring jelly to
"Um... OK. Why?"
"I have to donate it to the food shelter. We're all supposed to bring in jelly."
"Sure ya do."
"No really! We're all supposed to bring in jelly because people only give peanut butter to food shelters. Remember mom? We gave pasta and canned vegetables, and some people give peanut butter but they forget the jelly. So the food shelters have way too much peanut butter and NO JELLY! Can you believe it?"
"I never thought about it, but that makes sense. So you have to bring jelly into
school, for what, like a Jelly Drive?"
"Yes, exactly. I'm going to bring in this jelly because it's almost full."
"Well, honey, it's opened, and that means that it belongs in our fridge, but we can buy a brand new one that hasn't been opened up yet."
"But MOM, I need it TOMORROW!"
"Don't worry, I have to buy toilet paper and Pull Ups tomorrow, so I'll just make sure to pick up jelly too."
"OK, do you PROMISE? If you promise, that means you HAVE TO DO IT and bring it to school so that my teacher knows it's from me. A promise means you're going to do it no matter what."
"I promise, and I always keep my promises. So we have to do this tomorrow?"
"Yes, or else I'll forget."
How sweet (literally) is this? It was clearly very important to her, and I love that she has such a generous spirit. This morning, I picked up the toilet paper, Pull Ups, and her strawberry preserves "just like in our own fridge," and I tossed in a loaf of whole wheat bread for good measure. Even though we're in a tough spot financially, we can do this, especially since we've had help in the past from good neighbors and friends when it's come to food donations. Good karma and all that. I always try to remember the good that's been done for us, and that we're almost always in a position to reciprocate.
I took the bread and Smuckers to school to find signs up that they're doing a Jelly Drive from the 7th to the 1th. Every grade and every class is competing to see which class can gather up the most jars of jelly, and the class with the most to donate gets some sort of prize. But the kids are excited because they're doing something really good for the community. Anyway, I brought the stuff to Juliana's classroom, and handed her the bag so that she could show her teacher and her class herself. She made sure that she told everyone how she told me all about it last night, and how I kept my promise. It was just the sweetest thing to see the whole class excited about JELLY. There was a special table set up near the door too, that had several new jars of jam and jelly on it.