My nephew Smith did his eagle project this weekend which meant all the family and even friends pitched in to help out.

The project entailed stripping the citrus trees in one particular neighborhood and donating all the fruit to a local food bank. We had adults and teenagers climbing ladders to get the high fruit while kids as young as Hunter scoured the ground for fruit and divided out the spoiled fruit from the good stuff. There was a job for everyone.

There is so much fruit that goes to waste in this area. We alone have 12 orange trees and we will only touch 10% of it, so donating it is such a great idea. I love that our kids get to help out in projects like these. There are very few situations where young kids like ours can be of use in a service project. But this was perfect.

It took some good effort up front to corral them and train them, but once they understood what to do they were useful. At home they get paid 2 cents for every orange they pick up off the ground. So at first Hunter started counting every orange he put in the bucket. I had to explain that this was indeed a service project and he would not get paid. Bummer deal for a four-year-old. Luckily we convinced him to push through the disappointment and quickly pointed out he could pick up all the oranges he wanted at home for pay. We got a decent 1/2 hour of work out of both him and Hallie. For their short attention spans we were more than impressed.

Even more impressive: The four barrels over flowing with fruit. It was a good morning.