Last week we finished the first program in the Breadfruit House. Although we had planned to start with two groups, it came down to just one group. Gratitude is key in life, whatever the circumstances.
There is always something to be grateful for, no matter how small it seems. We usually only remember the big stuff that happens to us, not the tiny miracles, coincidences, and synchronicities. A few years ago, I started my gratitude jar and wrote a Blog about it. Click here to read it. I vividly remember the excitement I felt when reading all the messages on 31st December.
Ms., what is gratitude?
Now that we are hosting the program at the Breadfruit House, I introduced a Gratitude Jar as part of the program. This first group was 6- and 7-year-olds, for whom gratitude is a big word still.
When I introduced the jar, the first question was, Ms., what is gratitude? I gave a few examples like we are grateful that we are at the Breadfruit House today. Or that the bus driver brings us here and back to school safely. And in the end, we settled on a happy jar, even though I did not change the label.
Gratitude is key; it changes your mindset and makes you aware that there is always something that makes you happy and grateful.
In the last 10 minutes of every session, I ask the children to write or draw something that made them happy that day or week. The jar is small, so I made sure that I had enough paper cut to size for everyone to express gratitude, or happiness, to their heart’s desire.
And look at how much happiness filled up the jar; so lovely to see. Very soon, the children asked to contribute to the jar if I forgot. It quickly became an integral part of the program. Sometimes they did not want to leave before finishing that week’s drawing.
After the last session, I intended for the children to take all their drawings and writing home. That proved difficult, as there was so much, and graduation was a fun-filled afternoon with making a happy box as the main activity.
Ultimately, I decided to keep all this happiness and enjoy reading and looking through them. Filling my heart with gratitude just for that reason.
Reflecting on 2022 for Breadfruit House.
In November of last year, I knew we would have our building somewhere in 2022. And I was super excited about that, even though I was not looking forward to moving house. Looking back now, I can only express my gratitude to friends who helped me sort out everything in the old house, and those who helped me move in literally 3 hours.
And happy with the visit of our treasurer, Pamela, who helped decorate the Breadfruit House. She made cushion covers, and we put up posters and the lovely diamond painting she made. I already blogged about that; click here to read that Blog.
And with all that, the best was yet to come. From September, we planned on hosting two groups of children. That did not work out as anticipated; it came down to one group. It allowed me to see how it all would and could work. As gratitude is key for me always, I am pleased with how it all worked out. And I’ll say it again, gratitude is key, always all the time.
Surprise encounters are a blessing too.
Breadfruit House has been fortunate to receive a significant donation in kind, totally unexpected, from the Slough Dominican Association. Huge boxes filled with so many goodies, glue, paper, paint, glitter, pencils, pens, too much to mention everything. We are beyond grateful still.
I had never met anybody from the Association in person until August of this year. With Pamela, our treasurer, we were waiting in town to meet someone. A lady approached out of nowhere, asking me if I was the lady from Breadfruit House. I could confirm that, of course.
Her cousin, who is part of the Association, was visiting from the UK, and she recognized me from passing us in the street. How amazing is that! Shortly after, we talked for a while, and she will come and visit Breadfruit House when she returns to Dominica.
Last but absolutely not least.
We are grateful to you, our donors, followers, and supporters. Without you, there would no be a Breadfruit House. Sadly, one of our biggest supporters passed away this year unexpectedly. He always had kind words of encouragement, and his GoFundMe page did exceptionally well by raising over 3,600 CAD. Simon, we miss you dearly.
We are grateful for every donation received, whatever the amount. Together with you, we are building the future through Breadfruit House. After all, “Investing in a child is investing in the future.” Below is an overview of what we can do with the money donated.
Breadfruit House 10-week program:
- Transportation for one child: € 15
- Warm lunch and all materials for one child: € 25
- A complete program for one child: € 150 *
* this includes hiring a cook, transportation, food, materials, and rent.
Seasons greeting to you and your loved ones, from our Breadfruit House and hearts to yours. May the New year bring you health, happiness, and prosperity.