30 Acts of Kindness Task 9: Helping Hands of Grace

During February, I’m celebrating my 30th Birthday with 30 Acts of Kindness suggested by readers
The point of these posts isn’t to “brag” about what I’ve been doing,
but rather to raise awareness about different organizations in
Prince William County and share how you and your family can get
involved in making our area a better place to live.  If you’d like to
join me in any of my assignments, or if you participate in one on
your own, I’d love to get your picture and/or story to share!! I’d
love to think this is making a difference, and I hope that you’ll
join me!  

Our American Heritage Girls (AHG) group helps out periodically at the Helping Hands of Grace meals held at Grace Baptist Church in Woodbridge. Helping Hands of Grace holds dinner for those utilizing the winter shelter each Friday evening from November-March.  Guests are picked up from the winter shelter and brought back to the church for a short devotional and meal.  HHG also helps with the drop-in shelter (Bill Mehr Drop-In Center) from April-October, which provides access to showers, restrooms, and a light meal before and after typical work hours.  Grace takes meals on Tuesday evenings. They also help out at the Hilda Barg Center providing meals.

Serving dinner at the Helping Hands of Grace Friday evening meals is a fantastic project.  Again, there were no age limits, so as long as you have adequate adults to supervise you can bring your whole family.  Our AHG troop had a great time.  As with any service opportunity where there are lots of people in and out of a space, you’ll want to make sure you’re managing your children well and not letting them wander, but that goes for any activity.  For our Friday night project, each family signed up to bring a casserole, a side dish, salad, bread, or dessert.  We brought our food prepared, although there an oven and a microwave are available for reheating items.  Kids helped set up the tables, adults laid out food and prepared drinks (lemonade, coffee, I believe there was iced tea).  During dinner, both children and adults served guests food and children went around refilling drinks.  After dinner we all helped with cleanup and packaged the leftovers into provided containers to be taken back to the shelter for those who couldn’t/didn’t take the shelter over to eat.

We originally planned to go as a whole family, but Logan and Savannah had been in the car all afternoon and weren’t feeling well, so Riley and I stayed, while Austin took our little two home.  Riley is 10, and he was really a rockstar doing this- I think 9 or 10 is a great age for kids to be engaged in service like this because they’re old enough and experienced enough to do a lot of work on their own.  Granted, younger kids can obviously serve salad or bread and greet people with a smile, but I really enjoyed watching Riley keep himself busy and working- he’s got a good heart 🙂

If you’d like to get involved with Helping Hands of Grace, contact ministry leaders Steve and Melissa Brooks to volunteer or for information at
helpinghandsgracebaptist@gmail.com or 703-403-8612.