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Doing Good Together Newsletter )
Helping strengthen kids and communities through family volunteerism... December 2006
in this issue
  • Transfer the Holiday Experience to Someone in Need
  • Plot Unique Giving Strategies
  • Inspiration
  • One Family's Story
  • News From DGT

  • What if this holiday you gave your child not only the latest video game but also a lesson in compassion and giving? What if your family could enter the next year with a new sense of meaning and purpose? You can couple the traditional goods of Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa with gifts that will do lasting good for your family and the community. It can be as simple as a family outing to visit a lonely elderly person, or jointly creating a holiday card for someone who’s ill. It’s a great solution to the pervasive messages of consumerism assaulting our children right now.


    Jenny Friedman, Executive Director

    Transfer the Holiday Experience to Someone in Need
    Volunteer Match

    Make a Difference... Sponsoring a family or child for gift-giving this year can help ensure that everyone in your community receives something special for the holidays. When you volunteer to provide gifts for those in need, ask to be matched with a family that has children the same ages as your own. Then, while doing your own holiday shopping, talk with your child about what the family or child you’re sponsoring may need or want. To find an organization in your area that offers this volunteer opportunity, visit Volunteer Match or call your local volunteer center.

    Photo: Volunteer Match

    Plot Unique Giving Strategies
    Moishe’s Miracle

    Talk About It ... Advertising directed at children is estimated at over $15 billion annually – about 2.5 times more than what it was in 1992. The bombardment becomes most intense at holiday time. How do you counter these messages and instill the joy of generosity, kindness and service?

  • You and your child can make “coupons” for something you can give someone – help with a chore, a hug, a story. This lets your child know that everyone can be a giver as well as a receiver.
  • Together, go through your child’s belongings and give away things no longer used but still in good shape.
  • Invite someone who may not have family or friends nearby to join your family in celebrating the holidays.
  • Talk about what kind of help you can provide others in your community all year long.
  • Learn About It ... Many holiday stories for children emphasize the value of kindness. Start with Moishe’s Miracle: A Hanukkah Story by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by David Slonim (New York: HarperCollins, 2000). It’s a magical Jewish folktale that teaches the lessons of generosity and sharing. For more books that focus on these values, visit the Doing Good Together resource list.

    Photo: Moishe’s Miracle: A Hanukkah Story by Laura Krauss Melman

    Inspiration

    “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

    Hamilton Wright Mabi

    One Family's Story
    ?

    Seven or eight years ago, Anne Blake was looking for a hands-on way to teach her four children (now ages 8 to 16) about giving back. The Box Project squarely fit their needs. The organization matches a sponsor (an individual, family or group) with a family living in rural poverty. The sponsor exchanges letters with the family and, once each month, sends a box of material aid (clothing, food, household goods). But Blake values the relationships that develop, like the one between daughter Lilly and her friend Jackson, who’s part of their Mississippi match family. After hearing about each other for years, the two 8-year- olds decided to become pen pals. As Blake reported in a recent Box Project newsletter:

    “They are keeping the U.S. Postal Service busy with their correspondence. Most of their letters consist of typical pen pal questions, such as “Do you like your teacher? I like mine.” and “How is the weather where you live?” In his most recent letter, however, Jackson captured the essence of The Box Project when he wrote, “I am glad to have you and your family as our friends. I hope me and you can be friends for a LONG time.”

    Read Full Story

    Photo: Anne Blake and Llosharla Smith.

    News From DGT

    We wish the happiest of holidays and a joy-filled New Year to all of the Doing Good Together newsletter subscribers, donors and volunteers. We’ve had a phenomenal year, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your help. Thank you for helping us create a world in which every child grows up knowing that part of what we do is help one another out.

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