|Doing Good Together Newsletter|
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
Make a Difference... Spend five minutes this month putting a smile on someone’s face, and do it when you’re together with your kids. Some possibilities: let someone get in line ahead of you at the grocery store, pay a compliment, call faraway family and friends and tell them you love them, donate an animal to Heifer International, plant a tree, drop off a valentine for someone who needs some love, send an anonymous gift or pick up a piece of litter. Start your own kindness epidemic!
Photo: Heifer International
Talk About It ... ... A surefire way to nurture compassion and empathy in children is to encourage them to “walk in someone else’s shoes.” Here’s how:
Learn About It ... A must-read this month is the wonderful Valentine’s story about poor, lonely Mr. Hatch and how a simple act of kindness changed his life. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli is a delight for both children and adults. For other books on compassion and kindness, visit our resource list.
Photo: Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Shari and Brian Hanka’s children, Madeline and Riley, are still too young for preschool, but they’re already learning important lessons about compassion and community responsibility. The Hankas, in fact, make reaching out to others a part of their daily routine. When Shari and her children go to the grocery store, they buy extra granola bars and small boxes of cereal. Back home, Maddy helps put a couple food items and information on various homeless shelters into Ziploc bags. The family always keeps three or four of the bags in each of their vehicles. Then, whenever they see a person who may need some food and comfort, they’ll ask “Are you hungry?” and hand them a bag of treats.
The response from recipients, says Shari, has been overwhelmingly positive and grateful. Shari’s explanation to Maddy: There are people who don’t have as much food as we do, so we share. Shari also reminds Maddy of times their own family has needed help and how the generosity of others lifted them up.
Photo: Shari and Brian Hanka with their children, Madeline and Riley.
Doing Good Together will be exhibiting at the Hands On Twin Cities Volunteer Expo at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., on Saturday, February 10, from 10 am to 5 pm. Come by and visit us! information.