|Doing Good Together Newsletter|
Our communities need love too, so how about starting a Valentine’s Day tradition in your house? You can drop off chocolates or a homemade valentine to a lonely neighbor, deliver valentines to a hospital or nursing home, or collect mittens for a local homeless shelter. Brainstorm with your children about which project to undertake. The possibilities are endless, and your efforts will surely make the day memorable – both for your family and those whose lives you’ve touched. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
Make a Difference... Stuck inside with your children this winter? Make the most of your time indoors by creating crafts for children in need. Even very young children can paint a tote bag, and older children and parents can make a teddy bear, sew a simple drawstring bag or knit a small backpack. The group Artists Helping Children will then fill your bags with art supplies and cuddly toys and donate them to sick children. For more information and simple patterns, click the link to Artists Helping Children below.
Photo courtesy of Artists Helping Children
Talk About It ...Take time to talk to your children about being a generous giver and a gracious receiver. It’s important to understand that everyone has needs and everyone has something of value to give.
Adults who volunteered as youth and whose parents volunteered become the most generous adults in giving time (Independent Sector, 2002). By doing community service work with our kids, we create a whole new generation of philanthropists and volunteers.
When school started in 2005 for one 4th grade class at Breck School in Minneapolis, the families wanted to get to know one another. Instead of throwing a class party or picnic, they got acquainted while serving the community. Everyone spent one Saturday morning in November helping out at STEP, a nonprofit organization that assists residents of St. Louis Park meet basic needs of food, housing, transportation, health care and clothing. The families stocked food shelves, packed food bags, and learned what many hadn’t known -- that hunger and inadequate nutrition are an unfortunate reality in the community.
The experience, says Pam Hasselbring, one of the parents who helped organize the event, was educational, gratifying and a lot of fun. Most of the families seemed inclined to help well past the two hours allotted for the project. “I think now that families realize how easy it is to help – and how much they enjoyed it -- they’re more likely to volunteer again,” says Hasselbring.
Photo: Breck 4th graders assist at STEP
The Leo Buscaglia Foundation Leo Buscaglia Foundation a national organization based in California, has awarded Doing Good Together a major grant to help us encourage family volunteerism. We're delighted and deeply grateful to have the support of The Leo Buscaglia Foundation, whose mission is "to foster the spirit of giving in others by encouraging and nurturing organizations whose goal is to enhance the spirit of giving, caring and love within their communities."
Doing Good Together will be exhibiting at the Hands On Twin Cities Volunteer Expo Hands on Twin Cities in the Rotunda of the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN on Saturday, Februrary 11, from 10 Am to 5 pm. Come by and visit us!