20 Animals That Have Unique Abilities To Catch Food Teaching Our Children About Community Service

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Teaching Our Children About Community Service

I am so tired of carrying the same toys in my house every day. Now, I know my kids are young (5, 3 and 1) but picking up their toys after a day of play isn’t too much to expect from them. We often make it a family affair to clean the playroom (otherwise known as the bomb-hit-it room). Honestly though, how often can you pick up the same toys without getting a little bored with it all. You know that Febreeze commercial where the lady picks up all the toys and then sprays the carpet? He turned to the toy box for a second and when he turned it around all the toys flew back and lay on the floor. Yes, that’s how I feel.

So, I decided to give the two older kids 15 minutes to clean their toys without help just enough time for them to make a solid start, if not complete, cleaning. Let me tell you that for 5 nights straight he did not pick up a toy. On the sixth night I pulled out a trash bag and began to pack. My 5 year old asked, “Mommy, what are you doing?” My answer was, “Since you both don’t seem to care about these toys we will give them to someone who wants them.” Thus we begin to teach our children about community service.

I have taken more bags of toys to Goodwill and to Battered Women’s shelters than I can shake a stick at. I know three things in my battle with my children. 1) They have way too much stuff 2) They don’t appreciate what they have because they have too much stuff and 3) They don’t lose even one bit once it’s gone.

Our family is now committed to 2 local fundraisers every year. In November we partnered with Toys for Tots (http://www.ToysforTots.org) and begin a six-week pilot. My children went with me to a local store where they were choosing a toy that they would like to have and making the donation in the box. They will love to have it for the first day in our house and then it will be abandoned. So, instead of love we give it to someone who will love it. My 5 year old accepted and enjoyed knowing that he was going to give the child a merry Christmas. My three year old struggled with giving the toy away but we explained why and he gave it up. I know that as he gets older he will understand more.

In the spring we work with our local food bank to deliver food for them. That’s usually a slow time of year for food banks but they still need to serve the same amount of people. So, once again we invite our local people, businesses related to the website, my son’s preschool and family and friends. Buying an extra $20 worth of food when I go shopping will make a big difference for the food bank. This is the challenge we send to others in the community as well.

Socializing in my community makes me happy. I want my children to be proud of where they live, and to serve the people because it serves them every day. The stronger our community is, the stronger our children will be. The stronger our children are, the stronger our families will be. Make time as a family to serve your community!!

If families have just realized the many opportunities available to them to help their community I know they will be more motivated to do it. There are organizations that need volunteers but there are also things we can do all by ourselves. Some community service opportunities may not be ideal for young children and students but there are things they can do with them.

Schedule Schedule:

1. Great-grandson – Many senior care facilities have programs in place for families to come to the center to visit with residents. Nothing will put a smile on the face of a boss than seeing a child. You will need to do nothing more than show up for a visit as often as you can. If your child’s grandparents don’t live nearby this will give them a grandparent.

2. Help in a homeless shelter – Many people need a place to live and food to eat. By allowing our children to participate in serving these people we can teach them compassion and love. Most children live in a “bubble” without realizing that many people are much less privileged than they are. They will soon realize that they have been blessed and through their service they are lightening the burden of others and hopefully making their day better.

3. Exercise for a Cause – I have seen a great increase in our area for walking and running and swimming for all kinds of reasons. Most of them are related to cancer but we also have them for hunger, battered women protection, child abuse and pet protection. Find a cause you believe in, so get sponsors and then get involved. You’ll feel great about exercising and spending time as a family. (If you have small children, put them in a stroller.) You’ll feel great because your family is making a difference in people’s lives.

4. Military Care Packages – As a family you can put together a care package and write letters to men and women serving overseas for your country. You can connect with an organization like http://www.operationmilitarypride.org to make and send your own packages. Either way getting our children involved in supporting the troops is very important. This country is free because there are people who left their families to fight for it. Thanks to them!!

5. Christmas box – There is a wonderful program called Operation Christmas Child (samaritanspurse.org) that collects shoe boxes to send to needy children all over the world. Many churches are involved in this effort but it can also be done with a business or a profit group or even on a personal level. I let my kids carry a box each (with recommended items) and we had a great time. They want to know why we are doing this and where the boxes will go. We looked at a map and talked about how the children in those countries would be interested in the things in the box. It was a special time for me and my 5 and 3 year olds.

OUR FAMILY WORK:

1. Clean up the Park – When we get to whatever local park we’re going to we don our latex gloves and pull out a small trash bag. We spent the first 15 minutes in the garden picking up trash. It’s not much but we use the park and so we should take care of it.

2. Make a phone call – I don’t have TV on much in my house but if I catch a Tele-thon happening for a cause I believe in then I will donate $10 in the name of each of my children. Many people feel the need to donate in order to make a difference. You make a difference by never picking up the phone. When my children grow up I will let them make phone calls for themselves. Maybe they will even want to donate from their own money.

3. At the Lemonade Stand – What kid doesn’t ask to have his own lemonade stand? Have your kids make one but talk about giving some or all of the money to a charity. Make a couple signs with the price but with “all money collected will be donated to charity”. They can see that they have a busy lemonade stand J.

4. St. John’s Hospital – I am very grateful to have been blessed with three healthy children. There are many people who have had to face very serious and dangerous diseases with their children. I can’t imagine what the families go through. Every now and then I get a letter in the mail from St. Mary’s Hospital. Inside the letter were a bunch of address labels with my name and address on them. The letter asks for a donation (of any amount) for research conducted by the hospital. Again, it’s not about the amount but the fact that anything you can give helps. While you are going to write the diagnosis let your children write a letter or color a picture for a patient. Encourage them to get involved in the process and who knows maybe they will develop a pen pal they can keep in touch with.

5. Help in the Animal Shelter area – Most children love animals and allowing them to eat their whole bunch as often as possible is always a dream come true J ​​The animals will be grateful for the love and attention!! At the shelter children can learn about different animals and how to care for them. So volunteering also becomes about teaching our children life skills.

It seems that with each passing day, our life gets more and more busy. We need to take time out to spend quality time with our families. We want to make our community a great place to live and we want to make our family a strong and supportive unit to live with.

I hope my children will always be kind and caring and generous and thoughtful. I want them to know that their individual actions make a difference and that they should strive to make a positive difference. I believe my role as a parent is to help them achieve those qualities. By teaching them about community service, being a role model for them and providing opportunities to get involved I hope they will learn to be (humbly) proud of their contributions and grateful for their family and their “things”. I hope it won’t be all over the place again!

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