On Monday, we shared with you how, as parents, my husband and I learned how to dream big again. While this is definitely the first step in starting bigger Love Projects with your family, I’d like to share with you four steps that can help you simply get started.
1. Talk to your children about the importance of looking out for the needs of others. This is something that does not happen naturally for most kids and needs to be taught, and an example set. Share with your kids what Love Projects are (or, whatever you want to call them for your family. For us, Love Projects are simply a way for our family to share God’s love with other people). Then, encourage your children to start thinking of how they can do this.
2. Give ownership: Find out what interests your children, or what their passions are. If they were going to start a Love Project, what would they want to do? When you allow your children to create the vision in their mind, you give them ownership and excitement over the entire process. Encourage them to create a list of 3-5 Love Projects they would like to do.
3. Research the ideas your children have come up with and discuss the results with your children. Good questions to consider would be:
- How much will the total Love Project cost?
- Will you need to raise money, materials, or goods?
- How big do you want to make this Love Project?
- How much time do you want to devote to this Love Project?
- Can this be done locally?
- If you homeschool, how can we incorporate this Love Project into school each day?
- If you don’t know where to start, do you personally know anyone in the field of your Love Project that can help point you in the right direction?
4. Start Small, but Take Action: Choose the idea that best fits your family’s passion and schedule, and run with it. While Jordyn’s idea to send Jenna to Disney World was the first Love Project of Faith Like A Child, this was not the first Love Project we had done as a family. Jordyn had been a part of at least 25 different projects before this one. Most were very simple such as baking cookies/brownies for our local fire department, handing out bracelets to other children, picking up trash at a park, and writing notes of encouragement for people who clean public bathrooms. FLAC’s first Love Project was truly a culmination of each act of kindness along the way, which encouraged Jordyn to dream big.
Please don’t be intimidated by the starting process. Just start somewhere and grow from there. How big the Love Project is does not matter. When we look out for the needs of others, no matter how big or small, we teach our children to be less self-focused, and more others-focused, an invaluable lesson for all of us.
We’d love to hear from you! What other questions do you have about starting a Love Project? We are happy to help!