Trash day is usually not an exciting day for the Jarrard family in Warner Robins.
But Julie Jarrards children ran to the window and peeked through the blinds every time they heard a truck in the neighborhood Wednesday morning.
When the garbage truck finally arrived, they were excited. They watched the sanitation worker reach for the small bag on top of the trash can. It was filled with Tootsie Rolls, and they had attached a thank you note. Julie had positioned the can at an angle, so he wouldnt miss the bag.
The five Jarrard girls -- Bailey Ann, 11, Callie, 9, and the 6-year-old triplets Ellie, Jenni and Maggie -- cant seem to get enough of these adventurous acts of kindness. Later that same day, they secretly left goodie bags for the employees who round up the grocery carts in the parking lots of the Publix on Watson Boulevard and the Kroger on Ga. 96 in Bonaire.
Earlier this week, Julie and her husband, Brian, loaded their 15-passenger van with the five girls and their 10-month old son, T.J. They didnt make it past the Hot Doughnuts Now light at the Krispy Kreme on Watson Boulevard without stopping. (Neither can a lot of other people.)
While waiting in line at the drive-thru window, Callie did not have a postcard to write a note. So she used her iPad to spell in big, red letters: Thanks for all you do. She held it up for the cashier to see. As they drove away, the woman at the window was still smiling.
The Jarrards are members of Northway Church in Macon. Two weeks ago, a fall mission project called Stealth Kids was launched for children in kindergarten through the fifth grade.
Dropping BOKs (Bombs of Kindness) was the idea of David Garrett, the churchs pastor of family ministry. It is part of a Flight School theme. The children are learning lessons about listening for the voice in the control tower. They are encouraged to always have a flight plan for life.
No, these bombs do not detonate. They are gestures of appreciation. The Stealth Kids are anonymous, under the radar. At church, they wear Groucho Marx disguises, with the trademark mustache, glasses and big nose.
These youngsters are not on the lookout for high-profile people to applaud or pat on the back. They are out to lift the spirits of those folks with thankless, invisible jobs who receive little recognition for their efforts and hard work.
We are trying to develop an attitude of gratitude, David said. Gratitude is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship with God. We want them to be observant and focused on the world out there. When we look around, so many people go unnoticed.
So they salute the mailman and the ladies in the school cafeteria with thank you notes. They tiptoe around to deliver hand-drawn emoticons to waitresses and Little League coaches. They whisper as they leave gift cards, chocolate chip cookies and candy for neighbors and Wal-Mart greeters.
They never sign their names or call attention to their church on the BOK postcards.
We dont want to be seen or to get any credit, said David. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us to do our good works in secret, not to blow trumpets.
The notes are never more than a few sentences. They are simple and heartfelt. We should also be reminded of the extra effort it takes for a first-grader to write a few words at a time when they are learning to shape the letters of the alphabet. That makes them extra special.
The mission project will run through the end of November, but it could become a lifelong practice for some of these children as they get older.
The idea has been to plant seeds. In sharing their stories, the Stealth Kids will plant seeds in others who will read about it.
Reach Gris at 744-4275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.