Miss Just-Turned-8 has been requesting a favorite big-hearted project for weeks. Each year since she started school, we have added the work she brings home to a box in a her closet. By June her art projects, drawings, and coloring pages tower over the edges.
After the last day of school, we get to dig through that stack, rediscovering beloved projects and seeing just how much her work has changed through the year. A few precious projects make their way into her keepsake box.
Most of the others, the cheery ones that she clearly didn't rush through, are gathered in an envelope for Color-a-Smile.
This wonderful, nonprofit organization accepts all standard-sized kids drawings and sends them on to nursing homes, meals on wheels recipients, hospitals, and other individuals in need of a smile.
As second grade drew to a close, Miss 8 asked nearly daily if we could sort through her creations and "send our package of smiles."
When I asked her why she was looking forward to it so much, she told me, "Because all my hard work from the year can actually make a difference."
What a simple, big-hearted tradition for my family of young ones. I'll definitely keep it going!