A friend of Spencer's cause, Alexandra Kuykendall, wrote a great post on the website Grace For Moms called When Your Summer Bucket List Changes Lives. In the post, she describes the challenge facing many parents:
How do I embrace the magic of summer for my own children when I hear the needs of others that are in such desperate places? How do I manage the innocence of my own blood while caring in practical ways for those living without parents? How do I teach my children about gratitude and service without exposing them to more than they are ready for? In essence, how do I, as a pretty average mother of four, meld these two worlds?
She came up with four great ways to help kids be a part of Spencer's ride, helping parents and kids have conversations about homelessness and addiction along the way:
Host your own bike-a-thon to raise money to contribute to Spencer’s ride. In the next few months as you tell your kids to “Go outside!” or “Ride your bike!” have them make tally marks on their bike-a-thon sheets. For older kids, have them check in with the hashtag #SpencersRide.
CREATE A "SPENCER JAR"
Compared to donating to a sober-living facility like Providence Network, giving money directly to homeless people can often perpetuate alcoholism or addiction. Next time you're stopped at an intersection with a panhandler holding a sign, take out some cash and put it in a “Spencer Jar,” helping kids direct money toward the cause.
PRINT A MAP OF
Use a pen or pencil to track Spencer's progress across America as he journeys 4,000 miles on his bike between the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
Use these prayer cards to pray for Spencer on his ride and for others throughout the summer. Pray through the cards with your family at meals, tape one to the handlebars of your bike, keep them in your car to pray when you see someone asking for money on the street, share them with a friend, be creative!
Download & Print
The idea of homelessness can be scary for our kids (and for parents too), but putting a friendly face to the issue makes the topic approachable. Spencer reminds us that the homeless are not a group of nameless people, they are individuals with stories; men, women, girls and boys made in God’s image. People we are called to pray for, love and meet their practical needs in Jesus’ name.