Three out of the four high school years that my middle son played football, another player's mom and I made snack bags for the team to eat pre-game. We asked other parents to donate. Each bag coast about $1.65 to make and we thought is was a small amount of money to ask from each player to pitch in for the eight or nine games of the season. So that was a roughly $15 per kid. My snack bag friend would supply the water bottles iced in a cooler, and cheese sticks, and I baked cookies. The money went for the paper bags, zip lock bags, bread, peanut butter, jelly, and chips. Every Thursday we would get together and make about 40 pb&j sandwiches, fill the bags, load my van and head out to meet the boys as they went into the locker room to get ready for the game or to load the bus for an out of town game.
At the first of the season we would get a good amount of money donated and then the end of the season it was more difficult to get donations. We would chat as we slapped peanut butter and jelly on bread about how to get all the kids to do their part and donate what we felt was a small amount for their food. Sometimes it was frustrating to see only a percentage of the parents paying for all the boys. We fed about 40 teenage boys a week.
My middle son played on the varsity team last year. He has since graduated from high school. During that season I helped with the official team dinner. A few of the mom's who worked on the first team dinner thought it would also be good to provide the boys with snack bags before the game. My pb&j sandwich friend and I said we would do it again that season. As before, it was difficult to get all parents on board with the feeding of the boys. One mom asked us via email why we were feeding the boys twice. I took it upon myself to answer. I felt that this Mom had a valid question. It did seem a bit excessive to feed this team two days in a row. Our motivation for doing the snack bags was simple: Although many kids on the team could drive and go somewhere to get food, either at home or at a restaurant, some could not get home or afford to buy some food. And that was my answer to the inquiring Mom. We wanted to make sure that everyone had food before playing the game.
Tonight while I was checking out at Target I was chatting with the lady who was the cashier. In the conversation I told her that my son worked there. She asked who. She knew who my middle son was and said that her son played football with him. Somehow in our conversation the snack bags came up. She said that her son told her that my middle son's mom worked on them. She was so appreciative of us feeding her son. She said that they had nothing back then and that she was a single mom. She told me that she wanted to write a note to thank us. I told her thank you for telling me.
I was so happy to know that what we did wasn't over kill and actually was helpful, even if it was only for her and her son. My take away from that conversation was that you just never know what need you may be filling when you feel the need to reach out and do something. If you see a need that you can fill, no matter where or how small, just do it. You never know what it may mean to someone!