We have a program every Sunday at a local motel we call the “Children’s” program. It certainly started out as a children’s program. We did crafts and played games with the children and had a great time.
After a while, some of the parents starting coming out to help us. They quickly became some of our best, most helpful volunteers. Then some residents who had no children at all started coming out and helping too. Now it seems we have as many adults attending as children. They dive right into the activities. They love doing the crafts and want to play the games. If we bring Play-Doh, they happily take their share and start creating. If we bring Hidden Pictures, they jump right in and have a hilarious time. Or, they just like to sit and talk to us.
I finally realized the adults wanted to be part of what we do. We’re fun to be around and, they desperately need something to distract them from the realities of their hard lives for 5 minutes. They love their children with a passion and they bear the burden of knowing it’s their responsibility to see their children have everything they need, when they know they can’t possibly provide it all. They feel guilty, stressed and discouraged.