Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 1 CHRISTmas: Cleaning Carts

Yesterday began day one of putting Christ back in Christmas.  Every day this month, we will do a service for someone.  There are many things that could be done, and we are having fun coming up with different ideas.

To fulfill our first act of service, I waited until all the kids were home from school, and then we set out in the frigid temperatures (we got a cold blast this week) to our local Safeway.  Once there, each of the kids stood at the entrance, with Lysol wipes in hand (which we brought from home) and they eagerly waited for patrons to grab a cart.  Once they were cart-committed, one of my kids would walk up to them and say "Excuse me, but may I please sanitize your cart handle, so you don't get germs?"

It seemed like a great idea.  Many people don't think to clean their cart handles, and this is how germs are spread around so quickly.  Since having Kimble, I never just grab a cart anymore without completely wiping it down.  Most stores now have sanitizing wipes at the entrances, and it takes just a few seconds to wipe away the germs.

However, people didn't appreciate our service very much.  Most people tried to avoid us.  Many said "no" when my kids politely asked to wipe down their handle, to which the kids would look at me with concern and say "why do they want to keep the germs?"  The few who agreed, seemed suspicious of what we were up to.  Finally, one man came up to us and asked us what organization we were with, and what we were selling.  We told him we were simply performing an act of service, and trying to keep people healthy during this flu season. 

"Hmmph", he said, as he walked away.

Another person, after letting Kennedy wipe her cart, turned to me and said "What's your suggested donation?"  No donation.  Just service.

It was at that point, that I realized what we must look like to people; that we were trying to get money donated to us, and that perhaps by bringing all my kids, the sympathy factor would go up and people would be much more willing to donate.

So we left.  It was unfortunate that we were met with so much speculation.  I really thought it was a great service to do.  We will really have to think hard about what type of service we perform for the public.  I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea.


joolzmac said...

What a pity you were met with this reaction. People just don't trust good people like they used to.
I always think of the germs on shopping carts (and the credit card machines!!!). I have been known to ask a register assistant to wipe over the buttons - eeeww!

Keep up the good work though, I am sure you will perform some service that is met with appreciation. How about visiting the old folks home with some baked goods? Or buying a homeless person a cup of coffee and a burger? Can the children sing? Oldies love singing or carolling.

Cheers - Joolz

Cynthia said...

I love your idea to have days of service for Christmas! I'm sorry it wasn't well received. People must be very skeptical about acts of service these days.

Dan and Katie said...

That guy might as well have said "bah humbug"! I can't believe that people weren't more receptive!!

Karen and Matt said...

That's really ridiculous that everyone was so skeptical about it. What a bunch of scrooges, it was a good idea!

Jed and Kera said...

I think that was a really great idea. It's a shame people are so prepared for the worst.

I've "pinned" some service ideas like this for our family to do on Pinterest. Here are a couple ones I found, maybe it will help.

This one was a woman's 35th birthday celebration.

These are blessing bags for homeless people.

This on is a family doing what you are for Christmas. They had a print out that says "You've been RACKED Random Acts of Christmas Kindness"

This could get pricey if you let but we are picking and choosing from these and I'm going to find more to keep the price down.

In a few years when we can afford it, we hope to get to make a lot of the blessing bags. Homeless people have a huge place in my heart. I remember when I was 8 and my dad had lung and brain cancer I overheard my mom and dad talking and my mom was sad because she thought we were going to be homeless. I didn't realize she meant we would have to move in with my grandparents to help pay for all of the medical costs. Ever since then I always remember to not judge the homeless.

Wow long post I'm sorry. :O)

If you have Pinterest they have tons of ideas. (And find me please. :O) Kera Butler)