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Doing Good Together Newsletter )
Helping strengthen kids and communities through family volunteerism... September 2006
in this issue
  • Kind Regards to Someone who is Ailing
  • Being Mindful of Emotions
  • Fact
  • One Family's Story
  • News From DGT

  • Even during the school year, you can find simple ways to incorporate serving and giving into your family’s lives. In less than an hour, you and your children can create a greeting card for a sick child (see below), pick up litter at your local park or write a letter to a soldier in Iraq. Remember: Lessons of compassion are as critical to your children’s education as history or math, and it makes a world of difference when we raise kids who care.


    Jenny Friedman, Executive Director

    Kind Regards to Someone who is Ailing
    Make a Child Smile Organization

    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

    Being Mindful of Emotions
    Miss Tizzy

    Talk About It ... While working on the cards, have a conversation with your child.

    • 1. Talk about how we can help sick people feel better. Ask your children what cheers them when they are ill.
    • 2. Remind your child how important visits, cards, treats or phone calls can be to someone who is not well. It lets the person know that he or she is not forgotten and that the world cares.
    3. If you decide to deliver your cards personally, acknowledge to your child that it can be uncomfortable, even frightening, to be around a person who is sick or to visit a hospital.

    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)

    Fact

    “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

    One Family's Story
    Sarina, Elizabeth and Breanna

    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.

    Read Full Story

    Photo: Sarina, Elizabeth and Breanna making cards

    News From DGT

    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.

    Quick Links...

    This email was sent by maryann reynolds marsreynolds@gmail.com for doinggoodtogether.org