Late last week, storms ripped through Portland and turned our front yard into a lush red carpet.
Within 24 hours, more maple leaves were visible than grass. Within 48 hours, the grass and garden beds had virtually disappeared.
On Saturday morning, someone knocked insistently at my front door. I opened it and was asked if I wanted my leaves raked. Right away I said no. We’re always getting solicited by window salesmen and yard maintenance companies trying to drum up work in this tight economy.
But the people knocking were kids. And one of them handed me a business card.
“It’s a random act of kindness,” he told me.
The business card was from Portland Christian Center.
And sure enough, there was a van from the center parked at the curb. So I said yes to the raking, and then ran inside to grab my camera.
In the next 15 minutes or so, 11 middle schoolers and two adults filled our giant yard debris container and two yard bags.
One of the adults was Aaron McKee, middle school pastor for Portland Christian Center. He explained that the Rake ‘n’ Run project takes place once a year.
It’s part of the center’s Revolution Middle School Ministries. Kids volunteer to bring their rakes from home and to work for a few hours to clear people’s lawns.
“We’ve done it for the past five years–ever since I’ve been here,” Aaron told me.
I thought our front yard was magical when those brilliantly hued leaves covered the grass. But it was even more magical Saturday morning, full of smiling and chatting kids equipped with their own rakes, taking time to help others.
Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!