Kids Helping Kids

posted by Talk About Giving blog team

March 28, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

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Introducing children to community need can be a little daunting. The issues facing our community can be complicated and many parents aren’t sure how to explain these problems in a way that kids can begin to understand and in a manner that won’t scare them.

At the same time, we want our children to grow into community-minded adults who are aware of the needs of our neighbors. And we want them to know that they have the power to make a difference. So where should we start?

One thing is for sure: kids can relate to other kids. And while issues like homelessness and hunger are in fact very complex, we can provide our children with small nuggets of information that will initiate conversations about the issues without overwhelming them, introduce organizations that address the problems and provide our children with opportunities to help – and what better way than by helping other children?

Below we’ve outlined some Midlands nonprofits that have kid-friendly opportunities to help and information that will help you introduce some of the issues children and youth face in our community to your children.

Sometimes we need …

… A Yummy Lunch – St. Lawrence Place

  • What they do. Sometimes families fall on hard times and need a place to stay while they get back on their feet. That’s what St. Lawrence Place does! Moms and Dads and kids can move to St. Lawrence Place until they’re ready to move into a home of their own.
  • How we can help: When the kids that live at St. Lawrence Place aren’t in school, they attend SLP Camp! Families and groups in our community can provide them with a healthy lunch – pull your family or some friends together, create a yummy meal (like tacos or baked spaghetti) and share your lunch with the kids at SLP! Be sure to schedule and confirm details in advance.
  • Contact: Becca Smith-Hill, bsmith@stlawrenceplace.org or (803) 256-3999

… Art Supplies – The Nurturing Center

  • What they do. Parents sometimes need help learning how to be good mommies and daddies. The Nurturing Center is a place where parents and kids learn how to live and play together.
  • How we can help. When the parents are learning about being moms and dads, the kids get to learn and play, too. The Nurturing Center needs art supplies for their children’s classroom curriculum. Use a portion of your allowance to purchase items needed like construction and drawing paper, sidewalk chalk, large/fat crayons, and washable markers and paints (tempura and finger). Learn more here.
  • Contact: Kathye Holder, kholder@thenurturingcenter.org or 803-771-4160

… A Birthday Party – Palmetto Place Children’s Emergency Shelter

  • What they do. Sometimes moms and dads don’t know how to provide their kids with a safe place to live or take good care of them, so kids can stay at Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter where there are nice people that will take them to school, give them hugs, cook them dinner and read them stories before bed.
  • How we can help. Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you don’t celebrate your birthday! Put together a ‘birthday party in a box’ and include all the non-edible fixings to help a child at Palmetto Place have an extra special birthday! Balloons, streamers, cards, favors, wrapping paper, ribbons, etc.
  • Contact: Erin Galloway, director@palmettoplaceshelter.org or (803) 786-6819

… Fun While We’re Sick – Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital

  • What they do. We’re very fortunate to have a great hospital here in South Carolina that was made especially for kids and families. Not only are the doctors and nurses that work there trained to take extra special care of children, but our friend Jack, who gave his birthday to the Children’s Hospital, tells us they also a really cool aquarium you should check out.
  • How we can help. Just because you’re sick doesn’t mean that you might not want to play and have a little fun, and being in the hospital is probably kind of a drag. You probably have lots of books, toys or games at home that you have outgrown or don’t play with, so how about ‘Get One, Give One‘ for the hospital? Or consider hosting a charitable birthday party benefiting the hospital like Jack did! Visit their website for a list of suggested items.
  • Contact: Danielle, (803) 434-2151

… New School Supplies – Children’s Chance

  • What they do. When kids get very sick, there can be a lot of expenses. Children’s Chance helps families pay for things like their house, car or groceries so moms and dads can focus on helping their sick child get better.
  • How we can help. Each year Children’s Chance sponsors a School Supply Bash to provide school supplies to children fighting cancer and their siblings. Donations are accepted year-round: host a school supply drive in your neighborhood or raise money to purchase supplies! Who doesn’t get excited about new school supplies!?
  • Contact: Samantha Higgins, samanthahiggins@childrenschance.org or (803) 254-5996

… Three Meals a Day – Harvest Hope Food Bank

  • What they do. Did you know that one in every four children in South Carolina go to bed hungry each night? Did you know that a recent report ranked South Carolina fifth in the nation for food hardship (that means people don’t have enough money to buy food for their family) … and the Columbia area is ranked 13th in the nation? Harvest Hope works to feed 48,000 people per week in the Midlands.
  • How we can help. We can donate food, a portion of our allowance or even better yet, host a Food Drive to help Harvest Hope feed children and their families that need a helping hand.
  • Contact: For more information, contact Harvest Hope here.

… Other Ideas? Do you have other ideas of how children can help children in your community? We’d love to hear about them!

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