|Doing Good Together Newsletter|
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
Make a Difference... Make greeting cards to deliver to ill children (or adults) who could use some cheering up. Your family can deliver your creations to a nearby hospital or nursing home. Or, search out websites ( www.makeachildsmile.org; www.hugsandhope.org) that provide photos and information about sick children who are hoping for some happy mail. Together, make and decorate a card for one of the children. Write things like, “Thinking of you,” “You’re special,” or “Hope you’re having a great day.” (Do not include “get well” sentiments because some of the kids will not get well.) Write to the child about what you enjoy doing. Send him/her photos or drawings. You also may wish to enclose something lightweight with your cards, such as stickers, coloring sheets, a postcard or a bookmark. Remember that the goal of each message is to bring joy to the child.
Photo: Make a Child Smile
Talk About It ... While working on the cards, have a conversation with your child.
Learn About It ... Read Miss Tizzy by Libba Moore Gray. The eccentric Miss Tizzy loves the neighborhood children, and they return her devotion when she becomes ill. For other books that can spark discussions about caring for sick people, visit the Doing Good Together resource list.
Photo: Miss Tizzy (Aladdin Picture Books)
“83.9 million American adults volunteer, representing the equivalent of over 9 million full-time employees at a value of $239 billion.” SOURCE: Independent Sector
Sarina Smith, plans to be either an astronaut or an oncologist when she grows up. These are ambitious goals, but she is used to facing tough challenges. Sarina, who’s nearly 10, is a cancer survivor, and also struggles with diabetes, cerebral palsy and a heart defect.
Yet she remains remarkably positive. Her mother attributes Sarina’s outlook to an extraordinarily close family and the “happy mail” she receives from people all over the country, including handmade cards, pictures of people’s pets, chatty letters, knock-knock jokes and postcards from exotic locales. It all comes thanks to Hugs and Hope (www. hugsandhope.org), an organization that supports children battling critical illness and their families by encouraging others to send them cheery mail.
Photo: Sarina, Elizabeth and Breanna making cards
The Doing Good Together Board of Directors is building a model for how to systematically create a “culture of family volunteerism,” a world in which every child grows up knowing that part of what we do is help out one another. Once we’ve created that “map,” we can allocate DGT’s resources based on a foundation of solid research. We’ll keep you updated on our progress.