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Doing Good Together Newsletter )
Helping strengthen kids and communities through family volunteerism... Dec 2005
in this issue
  • Share the Joy of Toys
  • Combat your kids' holiday greed with generosity
  • Consider reaching out this season
  • One Family's Story
  • News From DGT
  • 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

    Share the Joy of Toys
    Toys for Tots4

    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:

      Photo courtesy of Toys for Tots

    Combat your kids' holiday greed with generosity

    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.

    • Discuss with your children what they can give, not just what they hope to get. Their gifts can be as simple as a picture they’ve painted or a promise to write a letter to a grandparent once a month for the coming year.
    • Go through your child’s toys and clothes with your child and collect those items they are willing to donate to a shelter or toy drive. Go together to deliver the items.
    • Talk to your children about sharing your holiday meal or other traditions with someone who will be alone.
    • Remind children that it’s important to contribute by volunteering and donating to charity all year round.
    Learn About It ... This is the perfect season to read a holiday story about kindness, compassion and sharing. You can find age-appropriate books and videos with these messages by visiting our Resources page.

    Consider reaching out this season

    Each year, more than three million people spend their holidays confined to institutions; 60% never receive visitors. SOURCE: The Holiday Project:

    One Family's Story
    Quinn and Shari

    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

    News From DGT

    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.

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