I finally did it. I joined the PTO. Not sure what came over me, but I decided this year I would give back and volunteer my time to benefit my son’s school.And then they put me on the Box Tops’ Committee.

Do you know what that entails? By the bags full, you count Box Tops, those teeny tiny squares one by one into groups of 50 and then track them in a spreadsheet by the student’s name.

Oh my….what did I get myself into?!

As the year went on, I started to take a very big turn of perspective. As a family we honestly had never even clipped or sent in one single box top. To me, it was just a bother. Who has time to remove the label, trim it down, put it in a bag and then send it to school with your child’s name on it? And I have four kids, so they would just end up fighting over those labels anyways, right?

But once I was on the receiving end of counting them, I saw it differently. MANY parents and kiddos took the time to clip, package and send those in and they take it VERY seriously. So, to fulfill my role, I embraced the position and gathered those little tops out of the collection boxes at school every two weeks and then divvied them up with my teammate to start the counting process.

Over time, these collections really added up. 1+1+1 became 13,000, which actually turned into over $1300 in rebate coming back for use by the school for the children and their education! Once I saw them all accumulated, it brought me great joy. Every single effort to gather those small pieces of paper had a purpose and as we compiled them to send them off to “Mr. Box Top” for our official school credit, I saw the value in the parts that accumulated to the whole.

What an impact!

So think outside the box here….literally! How does this represent life? We make upwards of several thousand choices in a day. One by one, little by little, over time they add up, either for or against us. Unlike the Box Top, we can’t collect them, see them, count them, or accumulate them by the bag-full, but we DO end up reaping the results of our daily decisions and we usually don’t realize it.

It’s called the Compound Effect.

My thoughts, words, and actions from yesterday are tied to today and make an impact on my tomorrow. What I once thought was meaningless little labels is a great reminder of a tremendous impact that effort and intention can have in our lives. So when I see a “Box Top” on a soup can, I’m forever reminded that little compounds to many and eventually turns into big, one teeny, tiny choice at a time!

Just keep clipping……

Fill Your Bucket

Mindy Irish


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