The story of our little home, orchard, and us.
FORKS. Such a common word, but has a deeper meaning for our family, and forever a symbol of our oldest duckling.
Two years ago, while we still lived in Fresno, our oldest duckling came home from school with a heavy heart. Everyday she was watching kids throw whole bananas and apples into the trash, and then watching homeless beg on the street corners for food as we drove home. She hurt seeing the waste and need. She asked me if we could somehow save the waste at school and give it to the homeless. I was so proud of her heart, that I immediately started researching and looking into the idea. At age 10, and a quiet child, I wanted to help her as much as she needed, so I started calling shelters around the area and presented them with her idea. They were immediately on board, more than willing to accept donations. I helped her write up a mission, create a name, and organize the logistics of how we could accomplish her mission. FORKS. Feeding Others Requires Karing and Sharing. She took her new idea to school and presented it to the Principal and Vice Principal. If children had unopened snacks like crackers, chips, raisins, etc or fresh produce they weren't going to eat and just throw away, what if we created a box or crate for them to place their food in that could be delivered to the local shelters? She could help feed those in need by sharing what others didn't need. The staff loved the idea and began working on approvals and implementation. Before it ever got off the ground, we moved to our new home in Oakdale. She was disappointed, but it stuck with her.
Just over a year after we moved to Oakdale, I picked her up from school with tears in her eyes. She told me about a classmate who came up to their lunch table and asked if anyone was going to eat the half eaten nachos left alone at the end of the table. After they replied no, he picked them up and started eating them. The group was grossed out and started teasing him. A natural wall flower, our girl doesn't say much, but felt a tremendous amount for that classmate. "Momma, they need FORKS here too," she said with tears sliding down her cheeks. We called some organizations when we got home, and had three willing to accept donations on the first day. She revised the proposal she prepared for Fresno, and submitted it to her new school the next day. She met with her Vice Principal and after months of going through all the proper red tape and receiving all the appropriate approvals, it was a go. FORKS was implemented at her school a month ago, and we've delivered five boxes of fresh produce and snacks to The Center for Human Services, right here in our own community. There are still glitches that need to be worked out, like getting the word out to all the students, and giving them incentive to take the extra steps away from the trash to the crates, but all of that will just take time. After watching her big sister, our second duckling wanted to take the idea to her school too. They too are researching the red tape and in the process of getting approval to implement it at their school as well.
As a parent, some days you feel like all you do is change diapers, referee arguments, and control tantrums. Then some days your children give you a gift, a gift so great that every cup of spilled milk, sleepless night, and vomit clean-up vanishes...leaving behind nothing but a heart so full it just might burst right out of your chest.
FORKS. Such a common word, but has a deeper meaning for our family, and will forever be a symbol of our oldest duckling. Happy birthday beautiful girl. We are so proud of you and your servant's heart that words will never be enough.