These days you ask a young mother in the inner city how she plans on spending the weekend with her children, she will most likely name some place like Chuck E. Cheese, Romp and Roll, and/or some amusement park full of entertaining attractions. Although these places would be an awesome way to spend time with your children, often including great food and lots of laughs, this isn’t always the most financially viable experience for most families. Everyone can’t afford to spend upwards to $100 for fun and entertainment for them and their children, however that should not allow families to not seek out opportunities to create some wonderful memories for them and their children, regardless of their income level.
This past weekend, despite a lot of obstacles faced in the weeks prior, I decided to embark on a family challenge. This challenge was to do as many family activities as we could without spending a dime. We didn’t want to lean on the easy and predictable “go to” activities that most families would rely on, we wanted to see just how involved we could be with our family, without going broke. With this plan, our intentions were to really prove that it doesn’t take a whole lot to have a positive weekend experience with those you love, with very little effort.
During our weekend, we volunteered with Renew Richmond (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Renew-Richmond) at the Jerusalem Connection Garden located at 210 Giant Drive Richmond, VA. We carried coffee grounds into a pile for decomposition, which apparently makes for better soil to grow your plants. This helpful information was provided by none other than Duron Chavis (Brother Manifest at http://happilynaturalday.com), activist and entrepreneur. My son was excited at the prospect of seeing worms and playing with them. Both he and Duron’s son participated with enthusiasm, collecting peppers of the vine, shoveling dirt, and washing off vegetables. At times you forgot they were children, by the conversations they held, philosophizing over their small task and exchanging theories on life for 5 year olds. It was amazing to see. I appreciate John Lewis for inviting us out, I look forward to doing more with Renew Richmond, as my family enjoy gardening activities now and we want to learn more. Please be sure to follow them and check out what they have to offer the community. If you can get involved in some way at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Renew-Richmond.
We also stopped by the mural installation that my friend Patience was facilitating called the Light of HumanKindness, it through this mural that you get to read and experience stories about kindness and real life. It was beautiful to read the stories and watch families come together to help paint the wall in not only English, but in other languages that speak to people in the community. Patience was overwhelmed with love at the sight of support and love from the community, providing bottles of bubbles for the kids to preoccupy themselves with. It was a pleasant afternoon, although the sun did not shine bright, it was definitely shining on her project and all around her. The significance of bringing my family out here was to share with my children, that when good people come together something amazing can come from it, and all it takes is a little effort and community. Please support and check out Light of HumanKindness at https://www.facebook.com/thelightofhumankindness.
We stopped at the Down Home Family Reunion by Elegba Folklore Society (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elegba-Folklore-Society) and the Hotchkiss Field Park Family Festival by Motiv8s (https://www.facebook.com/motiv8sRVA) all in the same day. These community events, aimed at celebrating its residents, its families, and its business are easy ways to get your family out of the house with little to no cost at all. Showing your children, the people in their community, doing amazing things, using their talents and skills to make a living, and how collaborations can bring positivity to the world around them, is the ultimate lesson in taking part in opportunities such as these. We walked away feeling a sense of pride in our families, in our future, and what we can do with just a little more effort. Of course, amusement parks, the beach, and even a cookout in the backyard could have been an option that would have exuded ounces of fun, but overall these experiences provide such a lesson that your children will be more than grateful for down the road. When events cater to children and families, allowing more people the option to participate without the burden of childcare, then you will see better outcomes from people wanting to be included, and families wanting to participate.
Overall, we learned that it doesn’t cost a thing to give our families a much more positive experience. We are looking forward to doing more from here on out.
For more motivation, follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
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