How do “Caring” and “Being Thankful” go together?

On November 24th, Big Friends, Little Friends and family gathered at the Walnut Village Great Room for our November Fun Function. We had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner: turkey sandwiches, green bean casserole, cornbread casserole, apple pie, apple crisp, pumpkin bars and pumpkin pie! There were plenty of leftovers, so most families went home with some food.

Apple Pie

Michael was in charge of cutting the pies – he was a great help! Don’t worry – the knife is plastic 🙂

Our Character Counts theme this month was “Caring”, which tied in perfectly with Thanksgiving. We learned what it means to be a caring person and the positive effects it can have on those around us. Humans are naturally selfish creatures. We have to take care of ourselves in order to survive, which is part of basic instinct – nothing wrong with that! However, it becomes a problem when we get so wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t even notice those around us. Picture two brothers: one is a teenager, the other is 8 years old. The 8 year old wants to show his big brother how he fixed his bike all by himself. The big brother was more interested in meeting up with his friends than listening to his little brother talk about his bike. He couldn’t just take ten minutes out of his day to hear out his little bro. That seems pretty selfish, doesn’t it? This makes the 8 year old feel like he doesn’t matter to his big brother – I think we all have been able to relate to this at one point in our lives.


Youth and Mr. Jesse having a discussion about “caring” and “being thankful”.

There are so many people in this world that care for us, and we need to be thankful for them. Parents, teachers, law enforcement… They all want us to succeed and to be safe. We sometimes take for granted all that they do for us. It’s easy to forget or not even notice because of how wrapped up in our own lives we are. Our parents work hard to ensure we have clothes to wear, food to eat, water to drink and have a roof over our head. They put us before themselves because they love us so much. Teachers make sure we get the education we need in order to be successful. Law enforcement protects our communities from crime, ensuring we have a safe place to live.

To help youth understand this idea, we did two activities based on being thankful. First, everyone was given three popcorn kernels. A cup was passed around to each person – the person with the cup had to say one thing for which they are thankful and drop a kernel into the cup. The cup continued around until everyone was out of kernels. There were quite a few repeats, but here are a few things youth mentioned : freedom of speech, freedom of religion, education, having a warm place to sleep, food, water, clothes, parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, military, police officers, and many more.


Tyler passes the cup after saying his “thankful” items. 


The second activity we did was write thank you cards to someone in our lives for whom we are thankful. Everyone wrote at least one thank you, while some wrote two or more. It was so great to see that youth understood the importance of being thankful for everything in our lives, and what they can do to show their thanks. It was a heartwarming Fun Function.

Thank You

Christine helps several youth write their thank you cards. 

This Thanksgiving, take time to think about everything in your life. Have you taken anyone for granted lately? How about the things you own – have you taken them for granted, too? It’s never too late to pay someone a visit or call someone up on the phone. You never know – it might just make their day!

Happy Thanksgiving from Big Friend-Little Friend!

Be a Hero – Mentor a Child!

#bigfriendlittlefriend #Thanksgiving #CharacterCounts!