Earlier this year, my 15-year-old son Seth, completed his Eagle Scout project. The project was to benefit a group from Atlanta, Georgia called Books for Africa. Basically, the group takes book donations and then send them to Africa.
It was a fun experience for Seth as he learned new skills, especially in the area of project management. He ended up collecting over 2,000 books from several sources. The books had to be boxed and then taken to the post office. The task was a bit tricky because each box shouldn’t weigh over 40lbs. Otherwise, it would be too heavy for one person to carry and the books would break through the box.
But we were able to get all the books packed and loaded in my truck. While I was driving, I could already tell that there was a lot of weight that we were carrying.
One Saturday morning, we went to the post office at 10am. We saw a long line of people as soon as we entered. We walked in and initially carried four boxes with the help of three other Scouts. When we got to the attendant, she asked how many boxes we had. I said I wasn’t sure. She told us to just keep bringing them up to the counter.
For the next 45 minutes, we kept bringing the boxes and the attendant continued to weigh and put postage on them. We sent a total of 31 boxes of books for $672.
We received a lot of looks while we were doing this. The Scouts were even asked several times about what we were shipping. I noticed a lot of smiles and heard a lot of comments like “Great job. What a great idea. That is so nice of you boys to do.”
There is something that adults like about teenagers doing service. It’s natural for all of us to feel great seeing other people do a kind act for someone. And I could tell that the boys also felt good about what they were doing.
The post office was busy that Saturday morning. But there was a nice and rewarding atmosphere. Seth’s act of service, the help from the other Scouts, and that trip to the post office proved that there is power and magic in kindness.
What act of kindness will you create today to help improve the world?