Kids and Charity
- Tracey Stewart
I'm not saying that my kids are the greatest kids in the world (even if that is what I believe), but I will say that I am so proud of the kind of human beings they are becoming. They really do think of others... even though they don't think of me when I'm tired and I don't want to get up off the couch and get them a drink that they can't reach.
Last Christmas, my daughter decided that she didn't want any presents for herself. Instead she wanted everyone to buy gifts for the shelter animals at Animal Haven. I have to say I was skeptical, and waited on Christmas Eve for my daughter to announce she had changed her mind about the presents. How was I going to explain that the All Magical All Knowing Santa didn't know she changed her mind, and didn't get the elves to toss last minute toys in his sleigh? Thankfully, she stuck to the plan.
Now, in keeping with my habit of looking for the bad in every situation, I anticipated that the showering of kudos my daughter would receive for her generosity could leave my son feeling left out. I suggested he think about donating to a toy drive. He agreed, as long as this meant he could still get toys himself. I told him this was beyond reasonable. Together we dropped the toys off at the Central Park Zoo, and then the pet supplies to Animal Haven.
The pride and joy that those two kids got from that initial act has stuck with them, and they are really inspired to do more. Prior to this, the divide between their interests was marked, and I tried desperately to come up with clever ways to trick them into playing with one another. Not anymore. Instead they are now plotting together which good deeds they are going to work on next. Somebody pinch me.
Their latest plan was to hold a bake sale at Animal Haven, to raise money for the shelter. They worked feverishly together, designing the signs for their baked goods, decorating the gluten-free cupcakes with edible dog bones, and even auditioning the dogs to see which would behave appropriately and be allowed to come outside and say hello to their customers (hopefully encouraging an adoption).
When the day came around for the sale, they both held their stand at a table all day, selling their goodies to passers by, showering praise on the dogs that behaved so well, and even taking in a quick math lesson as they worked out change and sale rates. In the end, not only did they help raise a lot of money for the shelter, but they managed to get quite a few applications in for some dogs, too. They were so proud of their efforts and cannot wait to hold another.
The ease of the bake sale, and the fun that came along with doing good for an organization like Animal Haven, inspired us to encourage others to do the same. Take a lemonade stand or garage sale one step further, and involve a great charity that you and your kids feel passionate about. Donate proceeds to a charity of your choice and we guarantee you that you will have fun (and feel good) doing so.
Here are some ideas for volunteering with your kiddies...
•ORGANIZE a reading hour for children at your local hospital or library. Make a plan to host story time, and select some favorite books to read to those children who are in need of some cheering up. Milk + Bookies is a great non-profit that can help you to set up your own book party, taking story time one step further.
Click here to learn about Milk + Bookies book parties, and to see how else you can help raise money using your books >>
•HOST a Bingo night, raising funds to help end child hunger. No Kid Hungry offers free printable Bingo boards and tips for holding your own event. Charge $5 for each participant getting a Bingo board. Ask a local restaurant to donate gift cards, offer a portion of the money made, or think or other creative prizes.
Click here to learn more about No Kid Hungry's Bingo Event Nights, and to see how else you can help raise money to end child hunger >>
• DESIGN AND MAKE your own webpage for people to donate to your cause. World Wildlife Fund allow you to create your own Panda Page that can help to raise funds and protect your favorite endangered species and their habitat. Choose your title, describe your passion for your chosen species, create a gallery of images, pick a fundraising goal and then spread the word.
Click here to learn more about the World Wildlife Fund's Panda Page, and to see how else you can help raise money for endangered species and their habitats >>
• CREATE videos to support your cause. Maggie Rose made a video with Danielle Ash to help encourage people to adopt Leila, a dog in the shelter at Animal Haven. The video was featured on their website and helped to get the pup adopted! Make your own video and send it through to the organization it supports. They are sure to want to feature it online. Watch Maggie Rose's clay animation video of Leila here >>
Or quite simply...
• Host a bake sale with treats baked by the kids
• Hold an auction, selling off their artworks
• Throw a garage sale using their old toys and clothes
• Volunteer at the local animal shelter
• Run a lemonade stand
• Put together an art show
• Organize a toy drive