We are planning to do some projects to help others again this summer (probably one each week) and so we started off this morning reading this book about how kids and adults can help others in their community. It emphasized volunteering, fundraising and donations, but also made the point that making someone's life better (even if it's just to make them smile) is helping. I really thought it was a great start to our day and put us in a good mindset for our projects. Most of the thing we will be doing are small things, but I hope they have a big impact both in helping others and in helping my kids to learn how important it is to help others.
Our first project is a cause I've been thinking about a lot...feeding kids who may go hungry in the summer without school lunch. There is already a huge need for food donations in our community, but summer is one of the worst times for children who depend on that one (and sometimes only) meal each day. The Think Outside The Lunchbox Food Drive is a simple way to help and a wonderful partnership between Hunger Task Force and Outpost Natural Foods. You can give a monetary donation or drop off non-perishable items in the entry of any Outpost.
We decided to focus on snacks/quick meal foods and worked together to get the most bang for our buck. This is what we were able to pull together with our modest donation dollars. The kids chose snacks and flavors that they like themselves, which made it a little more personal.
The kids really enjoyed the shopping, but placing the items in the donation box made a big impact on them. We talked about how these items would help kids just like them in our community to be able to learn and have fun this summer instead of wondering how to make their rumbly tummies feel better.
The donation boxes will be up through the end of August and the kids have already asked if we could donate again this summer. I am planning to add extra items to my cart every time I am "snack mom" for sports and including staple items (rice, pasta, peanut butter) on my grocery list. Please consider donating or looking into similar programs in your community.