DUBLIN, Ohio — If you take the time, they add up quick.
Count them, one-by-one, and it might surprise you just how much good is out there.
Counting paper bags in their Dublin garage is 11-year-old Patrick Barrington and his 9-year-old sister, Aggie. What’s in the bags is just as important as who’s getting them.
It’s been an ongoing effort since the pandemic began. Molly Barrington is their mother and she figured it out quickly.
“If your kids are anything like mine, they’re eating all day long,” she said.
One thing she says children tend to understand best is food and food insecurity.
Wanting to help the community during the pandemic, she started a sack lunch campaign while partnering with Seeds of Caring, which is a non-profit organization that empowers children in meaningful community service and social justice issues.
Patrick and Aggie have been involved since day one.
“Once we get the kids involved they sort of take over,” Molly said.
Patrick and Aggie began filling the sacks and decorating them with inspirational, colorful messages before taking those lunches to The Open Shelter in Columbus to feed the homeless.
“It just feels really good to know that I help people in the community,” Patrick said. “And it makes an impact on their life.”
One hundred and fifty lunches was a drop in the bucket.
Overwhelmed with the need, the Barringtons kept after it. Soon, 500 lunches turned to 1,000. In just a few months thanks to about 400 families helping out that number continues to climb.
“Over 10,000 so far,” Molly said. “Yeah, it’s pretty cool.”
A sandwich, fruit, chips, water and a personal note. Is that all it is? No. It’s more than that.
“It’s really mind-blowing to think about what we expect every day might mean a lot to somebody else,” Patrick said.
It’s much more.
“Because I just like putting smiles on other peoples’ faces and I like to see that people are being happy,” Aggie said.
It’s a chance to do good.
“I’m proud of them,” Molly said. “I really believe that getting them actively involved in community service has changed who they are and who they will become.”
If you take the time you’ll learn kindness, empathy and passion, even during a pandemic, is something you can always count on.