|Doing Good Together Newsletter|
Tired of the emphasis on consumerism and consumption at the holidays? Try adding some balance by volunteering with your family. It can be as simple as buying a toy for a child in need (see below) or visiting the elderly at a local nursing home. Involving your child in giving and sharing (instead of just getting) teaches important lessons of compassion and kindness. And it can be fun. Enjoy yourselves and have a happy holiday!
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
Make a Difference... One of best things you can do this holiday season is to go with your child to pick out a toy for a child in need. If your children are old enough, have them earn part of the money or donate some of their allowance to help pay for the toy. Then go together to place your gift(s) in the collection box. Talk about the children who will receive the gifts and how they will feel about getting a new toy. Visit the Toys for Tots website for more information and the collection spot nearest you:
Talk About It ... How can we teach our children that Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa and other celebrations are times for generosity, not greed? Here are a few ideas.
Each year, more than three million people spend their holidays confined to institutions; 60% never receive visitors. SOURCE: The Holiday Project:
Several staff members at the Minneapolis Crisis Nursery had tried to gently coax a five-year old boy to eat lunch. He was crying and had curled himself into a ball in the hallway. Finally, Quinn Mathewson, a 14-year old Cook for Kids volunteer settled herself on the floor and began talking to the boy. Soon he was eating his lunch, his body pressed against Quinn's. "Teens can sometimes help these kids in a way that adults just can't," says Quinn's mother, Shari Mathewson. Photo: Quinn and Shari Mathewson
Don’t get the idea that family service is only for the privileged. Doing Good Together is currently working on partnerships with several organizations in North Minneapolis, in neighborhoods where many of the families live in poverty. We hope to encourage families there to make a difference in the lives of others by volunteering together. Our partners consider family service a great opportunity to further strengthen their community, especially since these families are more often seen as "recipients" of service, rather than as contributors. Like them, we believe that all families have something to offer and that every family at one time or another depends on the services of others.