Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fill Your Family With Philanthropy

I'm compiling a list of service projects for MOPS, and thought I'd post here so I could link friends to it in the future.  There are so many ideas, I'm sure this will keep growing.  But here's my rough draft (meant for local folks, but edit as you see fit).

Have your children decorate a container and then collect:

                  • Aluminum pop-tabs for Ronald McDonald House

                  • Coins for a cause that reflect something they care about

                  • Boxtops for underprivileged schools

Donate clean/unused stuffed animals to the fire station, to be given to children in accidents or fires

Meals on Wheels: See http://meals-on-wheels.com/family for tips on doing this with children

Empower a woman with a microloan through www.worldvisionmicro.org/mops

“Add One Thing”: At every grocery visit, find an extra item to donate to a food shelter

Have children go through toys and clothes to donate to a local homeless shelter, like the Samaritan House

Collect hotel toiletries on vacation and donate them to a local shelter.  Virginia Beach families can donate them to Seton Youth Shelters, who use them for The Crow's Nest program for homeless youth ages 9-18.

Donate unused backpacks and suitcases to the local foster care system (or Seton Youth Shelters in VB), to be used for teens in transit

Gently used shoes can be given to Soles4Souls. We’ll host a MOPS drive, but locations can also be found at http://www.soles4souls.org/

Make sandwiches for a local homeless shelter

Have your children write letters or email to soldiers. For more information, visit http://www.amillionthanks.org/

“Secret Service”: Find someone to secretly help. Have your children do the brainstorming, and you just help with resources to carry it out.

Choose a long-term project that fits your family. Cook at a homeless shelter or visit your local nursing home. Visit http://www.volunteermatch.org/ for brainstorming ideas, and ask your children for ideas!

Have older children “read” to animals at the Humane Society

Make greeting cards to deliver to ill children. Find out more on these websites (http://www.makeachildsmile.org/; http://www.hugsandhope.org/),which provide information & photos about children who could use some joyful mail

Make Breakfast Bags for the Norfolk Ronald McDonald House. Buy granola bars, fruit cups, juices, etc in bulk and put into individual paper bags. Families can use these as a quick meal on the way out the hospital. Many of these families are in dire financial situations, and every bit of help makes a difference. Children can decorate the bags.

Go to http://www.cheerfulgivers.org/ for more information on creating Birthday Bags for needy children at shelters. These are bags filled with about 10 items (such as bubbles, slinkies, crayons, stickers, books, etc). A local shelter for donation is the Samaritan House: http://samaritanhouseva.org/

Get involved with The Box Project (http://www.boxproject.org/). It matches sponsors with needy rural families, who receive a box per month with food, clothing and other items – as well as offering encouragement, friendship, and support.


Many ideas (including some from above) can be found at http://www.doinggoodtogether.org/ (thanks, Kari, for suggesting it!)

Another excellent resource is http://www.charityguide.org/


Please feel free to add your own kid-friendly charity idea to the comments area, and I'll add it to my list!  Sharing ideas is one of my favorite parts of life. :)

Add-ons from friends' suggestions (this part will expand as I go):

Amy says: "Along the lines of picking up extra food for the food bank, buy dog or cat food, cat litter or toys for the animal shelter."


Amy said...

along the lines of picking up extra food for the food bank, buy dog or cat food, cat litter or toys for the animal shelter.

Soles4Souls Inc. said...

Thank you so much for promoting our cause as a way for people to give back!
We look forward to working with your MOPS group. When you're ready, you can email lizap@giveshoes.org and she can help you set it up.
Also, we'd love for you to join our Facebook Family (www.facebook.com/giveshoes) for news and tips about shoe drives.

Thanks again, Sarah Beth.

Sarahbeth said...

Wonderful! Thank you. I will email her right now, as we have a projected date for the drive. Fun to see your post.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the link back to Doing Good Together! You've compiled a great list.

Our families favorite ongoing activity (given that my kids are 5 and 2) has been coloring pages for www.createasmile.org, but I do hope to try the cheerful givers birthday bags soon. There are so many good ways to give back with young children. Thanks for the list!


Sarahbeth said...

Sarah, it's great to hear from you! I adore your website; you have amazing ideas for inspiring families. Kari Wetzel pointed me to it; you spoke at her MOPS group. Keep up the great work!

Sarahbeth said...

Oh my goodness. Her name is Kari Johnson now - I used her maiden name from 15 years ago! :)

Sarah said...

Actually, I'm just the blogger for Doing Good Together. Founder Jenny Friedman must have spoke to your group. She's a gem, and implementing some of her ideas in my little family has been an amazing experience already.

I'm glad you like our blog ;)