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I’ve heard a lot of moms talk about wanting to find ways to get their children involved in acts of service.  When you have younger children, it can be difficult to find opportunities that are age appropriate.  My friend’s daughter (age 5) saw a way to help those going through chemotherapy and chose to do something about it.

I’d like to introduce you to Abby.

Abby's Purple Bag with Grandma

At first glance, she looks like any other kindergartner, but once you talk to her, you know there is something special.  Her grandma (Lala) has breast cancer and is going through chemo.  For her birthday last year, Lala asked everyone to make special goodie bags to take to chemo patients.  It would have been easy for Abby to simply make the bags for Lala’s birthday and not give it another thought.  Not Abby.  She decided that she wanted to continue making bags and set some lofty goals for her project.

Named Abby’s Purple Bag Project, her goal is to deliver 1,000 bags to chemo patients in all 50 states.  She knows that this is a big project, but has said “we can make it happen if we all work together.”  The concept is simple – ask friends (and friends of friends) to put just a few bags together and deliver them in their home state.

Abby's Purple Bags

Abby's Purple Bags Delivery

To make it even more fun, Abby has hosted Purple Bag Parties where she invites friends to come help assemble the bags.  Each friend brings one item to contribute to the bag and all of the kids draw pictures and cards to include in the bags.  They select a cancer treatment center and arrange a time to drop off the bags.  Not only is Abby brightening the day of chemo patients, she is teaching her friends about serving others.

Through the magic of Facebook, Abby’s idea has been shared with hundreds, if not thousands, of people.  And people have jumped on board with this project!  She is 255 bags and 8 states away from meeting her goal after only 5 months.

Abby's Purple Bag w:map

If a single 5-year old is able to start a wave of service that reaches the entire country, think about what could happen if we all thought of one way to help others.  Service does not need to be intimidating, difficult or expensive.  It simply needs to come from the heart.  There are many ways for children to help others.  I hope Abby’s project inspires you to encourage your children to think of ways to support those around them.  No matter how big (or seemingly impossible) the goal, it can be accomplished!

Abby’s Purple Bag Project’s Facebook page is no longer up, but you can join in the amazing efforts of this darling girl! Click on the image below to print out a kid-friendly shopping list to encourage your kids to help out in your own community!

Abby's Purple Bag Shopping list