Updated: Nov 7, 2021
Homeless and poverty stricken children see the world quite different than children who don't need for much. Even a sock is not something to take for granted...
Working with homeless children is an ever-changing learning experience, and this day was no different for the volunteers who were at Project Hawai'i Summer Camp last year.
Our dedicated #volunteers spend endless hours preparing for #camp and assuring the activities will be fun and educational for our precious #homelesskeiki. While these children are at camp our main focus is to help them learn new skills and learn how to be #prepared for their school lessons. One of our activities is making #sock puppets. This allows the children the explore their own imagination and work with different mediums to make something of their own.
Last year as we were setting up the stations and sorting through the buttons, ribbons, extra fabrics and of course the socks...
One of the jr leaders sat at the table and raised her hand to ask a question.
"Can we have the leftover socks".
By now the socks were distributed and no longer in a matching form. There wasn't too many left, and I was puzzled by her question.
I asked, "Why?",
She responded, "to wear them to school".
She had never had a new pair of socks and these were not just bright and colorful, but did not have holes, the fact they didn't match didn't occur to her.
We took the extra socks and allowed the girls to choose socks and take them back to their cabins. Throughout camp our campers were wearing mismatched socks with pride in their hearts and feeling loved... yes with the "leftovers"
I felt so bad. Once again I took resources we as a society take for granite and used them as a craft project for children who live without anything. Our camp is always evolving to meet the needs of our children. Since we started our jr. leader program we have had to raise about 40% more funds to care for the needs of these new additions.
Simple life necessities are often overlooked
The expression of #creativeart is a part of life these children do not experience often. Children who live in cars, tents, and other substandard dwellings do not have access to arts and craft supplies, or the space to create. The importance of creative art is just as important as any other learning process we have. Early childhood development requires this stimulation in order for a child to develop in a well balanced way. (According to the Novac Foundation)
Our camp will always continue to provide the essentials of learning, exploring and opening the world around these children to what is otherwise out of their reach.. but we will also be providing the children with a new pair of socks to take back to their cabins, and of course when they go back to school their socks are provided along with their new shoes. #stockinguponsocks
This is all possible because caring people in the community continue to donate and get involved with our programs. The importance of having something NEW, something is is just for you, not a left over, or something that was no longer wanted is an experience they don't often have. Our donors are so #wonderful. They step up to the challenges we face and make sure that needs are met!
I will never look at #socks in the same way again.. Before it was excitement of how fun these children would have using their imagination and having fun socks to start.. NOW I look at them as a life necessity that our children at camp live without.
Happy Keiki with their sock puppets at camp. Being creative, learning new skills and feeling accomplished ...all with simple craft project items.
We want to thank #bambas #socks for choosing our teen mentoring program as one of their charities to donate socks. Bombas Socks company donates a pair of socks for each sock purchased... while the socks might be BLACK, that too has a purpose. The homeless community has a hard time keeping clean, and the dark socks helps them hide that sad fact. Mahalo Bambas for being so thoughtful!!