posted by Talk About Giving blog team
April 23, 2012 @ 3:25 pm
It’s Saturday, and it’s raining. In fact, it’s been raining for the last three days straight. Or perhaps it’s too hot or too chilly – it was a warm winter, huh? But today it’s chilly! Either way, your plans for a day outside, and your kids’ cabin fever might be steadily rising. Everyone has lost interest in watching tv, but it’s still blaring, a steady background to the chorus of brother-and-sisterly bickering.
We’ve all had days like this. We all know how frustrating it is to watch your kids unravel because they’re bored. The solution? Help your kids shift the focus from themselves to others with a quick “kitchen table project.” Using these everyday moments at home to micro-volunteer is an easy way to do some good and remind your kids what really matters.
So next time the rain is falling or the heat index is off the charts, the whining is rising, and you don’t want to hear “I’m bored!” yet another time, gather your family around the table for a volunteer project. Your kids might grumble at first, but be patient: we’re guessing that getting absorbed in something that’s not about them will change your entire family’s attitude—and brighten that rainy day.
- Make greeting cards to deliver to ill children in need of some cheering up. Two websites (www.makeachildsmile.org; www.hugsandhope.org) provide photos and information about sick children who are hoping for some happy mail. Families can make a card together for one of the children. You can also enclose something lightweight with the card, such as stickers, coloring sheets, a postcard or a bookmark.
- Write a family email to a soldier. It will only take a few minutes, and it will bring joy to men and women who are far from home. For more information, check out https://wwwcfi.cnet.navy.mil/dearabby/ or visit www.amillionthanks.org
- Write a letter. The monthly AIKids’ Urgent Actions are things children can do while learning about letter-writing as an empowering tool. Each action listed on the website provides information about young people who are experiencing human rights violations. Information is available at www.aiusa.org/aikids.
- Decorate lunch bags. Families can decorate brown lunch bags to be used for Meals on Wheels volunteers to pack lunches. Pull out the crayons, markers, stickers and any other art material you have handy.
- Make a blanket. Families can make a blanket for a child in need of comfort. Create a simple, no-sew fleece blanket (anyone can do it!) and then donate through the Midlands chapter of Project Linus. Watch a video about Project Linus with your children so they will understand the impact these blankets can have in kids’ lives.