Collecting for the Community

Doing Good Newsletter


Want to add a bit of altruism to your children's summer? Instead of collecting shells and rocks, hold a collection drive for those in need. It could be cereal for a food pantry, cat or dog toys for a humane society, diapers for a crisis nursery, or books for a family homeless shelter.

A donation drive is a fun, easy family activity that can improve lives.

-Jenny Friedman, Executive Director


Make a Difference....

Before you start collecting, contact a local nonprofit to be sure they can use your collected items.

  • Pick a theme, a goal (number of items to collect) and a timeframe.
  • Decide where you'll seek donations -- neighborhood, family and friends, and/or your workplace.
  • Get the word out: Make calls, send emails, write letters, make posters or fliers, and post on your Facebook page.
  • Make it easy for people to donate. Decide whether they should drop items off or whether you'll pick up. Clear out a place to store them.
  • Take a photo when you deliver the items to the nonprofit, and send it to the contributors with your thank-you notes. Report how much you collected, too.
  • Note what you'd do differently next time, then start planning for next year's drive.       


Talk About It.....

Talk to children about the needs in your community and about what some people do without, whether it's toys, clothes, books or food.

  • Let your children help decide the focus of your family's collection, keeping in mind their interests and ages.
  • Talk about how your collection will have an impact. ("Did you know that some children don't get a gift for their birthday? How do you think our toy collection will help?")
  • Go together as a family to deliver the items you collected. If possible, ask for a tour of the facility (shelter, food shelf, humane society) to learn more aThe Library bout the organization's work.
  • Ask agency staff what other ways your family might help out, or other items they badly need.

Learn About It.....

The Library by Sarah Stewart (Square Fish, 2008). Ages 5 and up. In clever verse, Stewart tells the story of a girl who loves books and eventually collects more than she can handle. Her unique solution celebrates reading and giving back.


You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet