By Vicki Little
Teaching our children to look at the world around them and recognize the needs of others is a process. It isn’t something that is taught in one conversation, but it is taught through repetitive examples. The warm feeling that your children will experience after seeing how their efforts helped someone else, and the feeling of pride they get when accomplishing a goal of helping others will be immeasurable. Use these five ideas to get started, or share with us something that you already do!
- Start a fundraising program through Project Night-Night and help put a blanket, book, and stuffed animal in the arms of a homeless child. PNN has a “Be Awesome” program that will walk your child through every step of the process!
- Go through those gently loved stuffed animals and donate some to your local fire or police station, or even a children’s hospital. S.A.F.E (Stuffed Animals For Emergencies, INC.) has a listing of local chapters where you can drop off those furry friends, or you can call your local stations for information.
- Gather up shoes from family and friends, purchase them, or even start a chapter with Shoes That Fit, a non-profit organization that helps give children in need comfortable shoes that they can go to school in.
- My Stuff is a non-profit organization that gives abused and neglected children a bag of “stuff” of their own when they have had to leave everything they know. You can gather up stuff yourself, ask family and friends, or even do a drive.
- Don’t overlook the opportunities in your own community. Call your local fire station, police station, hospital, and library to see what needs they have and how you and your children could help. Volunteer or organize a fundraiser for your local animal shelter, or even contact a local homeless shelter to see what can be done as well. Organize a “school supplies drive” and put together backpacks to donate to schools to give to kids in need when school starts. Volunteer in the library or at your child’s school. You can even brighten someone’s day by simply making a dinner for a family with a new baby, mowing the lawn for an elderly neighbor, or walking a dog for a person who has difficulty getting around.
The options for giving back are endless! The gesture doesn’t have to be huge to make an impact on both your child and the world.
Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids. A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. When she isn’t writing or trying to keep up with her kids she can be found volunteering, reading, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.
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