Blog

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For awhile now, I have wanted to add a bit of a personal touch to the Kids in Service site.  I wanted to share some of the feelings and experiences that come up as we serve as a family.  Navigating service with children can be challenging at times.   I often worry about their safety, are they learning anything and are we doing too much?  I hope that this space will be a safe place to share our experiences and we’d love to have you share your experiences as well.  We want the Kids in Service site to be a place where we can all learn from one another as we journey down this path together.

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Granting Wishes-8/23/19

This summer my local Kids in Service group started a project with our older kids (10 and up) called Granting Wishes.  We like to think of it as a Make a Wish program for seniors.

This project was inspired by Ruby, a 5th grade girl in Arkansas, who visited area nursing homes daily while her mother worked as a nurse. Ruby tried to keep busy and eventually started talking with the residents.  Through her conversations she would ask the residents about their wishes.  She was surprised to learn that many of their wishes were simple (new shoes, an electric razor, Vienna sausages) and this led to a service project where she helped to make their wishes come true. Ruby is an INCREDIBLE Kid and such an inspiration.

This past spring we contacted the local nursing home that our KIS group has been working with for the past 4 years.  We asked if we could partner with them for a similar project and the Activities director, who had heard about Ruby’s story, was excited to provide a similar experience for her residents.  Many of the residents at the local Assisted Living/Nursing home are nuns and many do not have family near by.  It was my hope that this summer’s Granting Wishes Projectwould foster some connections between the kids and residents that would lead to an Adopt a Grandparent program in the fall.

Click HERE to read more…

Kindness at the Arcade-6/11/19

I recently took my children to a large arcade complex to celebrate the end of their school year.  They love this particular arcade but I prefer to take them during school hours when it is quieter and less chaotic (a perk of homeschooling).  As we pulled into the empty parking lot, they planned out the way they would spend their tokens and dreamed of the tickets they would collect.  I smiled at their chatter and decided to channel my inner child while we were in the building. I was planning for a fun day and never would have guessed that a trip to the arcade would be a powerful lesson in kindness and paying it forward.

Click HERE to read more….

pay it forward summer (3)

My Two Incredible Kids-5/20/19

For the past few months, Kids in Service has been celebrating all of the WONDERFUL service work that children around the country have been doing.  I love that we are able to highlight their accomplishments and hope that their work inspires other children around the globe.  Today, I wanted to take a minute to celebrate the two most important INCREDIBLE Kids in my life…my son Zach and my daughter Caroline.

Click HERE to read more…

pay it forward summer

Brown Bag Project–5/13/19

Kids in Service NH partnered with Shepherd’s Food Pantry and St. Matthew’s Church for a once a month service project called, the Brown Bag Delivery Project.  Once a month, it is our job to help deliver the food that is collected on Brown Bag Sunday at St. Matthew’s and deliver it to Shepherd’s Food Pantry.  This project is PERFECT for ALL AGES and it is one that helps so many people in the community.

Here is what Kids in Service Mom Kristen had to say about their experience:

Justin and I went to St. Mathew’s church on Sunday evening. He thought it was pretty cool because he got to wear pajamas (since it was so close to bed time). While we waited for the church service to end, we sat in the car and talked about what we were going to do. Justin was excited to bring the food to people who need some extra help. When people started to leave the church, we went to work! Justin liked using his “strong muscles” to bring the bags to the car. Justin and I made 4 trips back and forth to the car before 2 women noticed what we were doing and asked if they could help.  The two of them were able to pick up the big bin of food and make it to the car in one trip. Justin was very impressed and happy that they helped us out. We thanked them and took the food back to our house (leaving it in the car overnight)……

CLICK HERE to read more.

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Cradles to Crayons–A Guest Post by Chloe (age 11)–4/02/19

I am so excited to have one of our INCREDIBLE kids writing for the site today!  Please welcome Chloe!  Chloe is 11 years old and wanted to share with you an amazing organization called Cradles to Crayons where she recently volunteered with her family and friends.  Cradles to Crayons has three locations in Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago.

When I walked in for the first time, I saw hundreds and thousands of things.  It was like a big country with millions of islands!  We sat down at a table to decorate a birthday bag.  It feel very home like there.  The people assigned us to the book section, then the lady told us the rules.  One of them was don’t steal any of the books of course!  Another was no religion, holiday or family books because we don’t want to offend someone for what their culture or religion is.  And we don’t want to put in books about a family because that might make a little girl or boy feel bad about their circumstances.

One job was to sort books into their right age group, another was to make piles of books and put them in the finished age categories.  The age groups started at zero to two, up to eleven to twelve.  I did both jobs.

Click HERE to read more…

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photo taken from the Eagle Tribune, March 23rd

Showing Solidarity–3/29/19

The kids and I were very blessed to be part of a Peace and Solidarity rally last Friday.  The event was organized to show support and love for the people of our local Islamic Center, after the terror attack in New Zealand a week prior. We represented the Kids in Service NH community, as we came together with a small crowd in the cold and rain.

My hero Joe, who runs Merrimack Valley Hope Mission, put together this beautiful peace rally.  For the past 3 1/2 years, Merrimack Valley Hope Mission has organized lunches for the homeless population to be distributed on Fridays.  They have only missed one day (because of a blizzard) in that time period.  Joe arranged the rally to begin right before this weekly ritual and welcomed all in the park to attend.

Click HERE to read more…

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Wall of Gratitude–3/21/19

For those of you who don’t know, one of my favorite parts of my work with Kids in Service is meeting with the children of my local Kids in Service group.  I have run this group for the past 4 year and the last two years we have had a word of the year that acts as our theme.   Last year the word of the year was Kindness and this year it is Gratitude.  To start off our meeting this month, I read Look and be Grateful by Tomie dePaola.  It is a very simple book but a nice quick read for younger children.

After the book, I had all of the kids look closely at the board.  It said, “Wall of Gratitude” and I had written each of their names on a star stickie note and placed it on the board.  This meeting had children ages 0-12 and the younger children each lit up when they found their name.  One little boy, wanted to hold onto his name (and the name of his baby sister), he was so excited.  I told them that I was grateful for each and every one of them and that is why their names were on the board.

Click Here to read more…

Books for Earth Day

We Were in the Way–3/14/19

Yesterday the kids and I volunteered for a two hour shift at the local food bank.  We have volunteered here a few times before on weekends or in the evening and have had great experiences.  I signed up online a few weeks ago for a morning shift and we took a quick break from homeschooling to volunteer. After our time serving, my son summed up our experience when he said,  “Mom, we were in the way.”

When we arrived, one of the staff looked at us with recognition but great surprise.  “You signed up online for today?” she asked.  “Well, we will find something for you to do.”  The food bank was a well-oiled machine with twelve to fifteen adults who all had a purpose.   We were put in charge of sorting toiletries and spent 30 enjoyable minutes with a task that was meant for us (we turned it into a game which made it a lot of fun).

Click HERE to read more…

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Mindful March–2/26/19

Kids in Service is celebrating Mindful March next month and we hope you will join us.    We at Kids in Service believe that teaching children to be mindful is an important step in helping them to be kind and compassionate human beings. What does it mean to be mindful?  Jon Kabat-Zinn says that, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

Mindfulness-Definition1

Learning the art of mindfulness can give children (and adults) the tools to deal with daily stress and anxiety.  When one is mindful, we are more compassionate, calm, grateful, present and better in control of our emotions.  There is so much research out there about the benefits of children learning mindful practices.  These practices can help them to be open to learning new things, have longer attention spans, regulate their emotions and be more productive.

I have been on my own mindful journey for the past 3 years.  I have to be honest, it has been difficult for my type A, high-strung personality to learn these new ways of dealing with stress and anxiety.

CLICK HERE to read more.

 

Learning to Let Go–2/12/19

For the past 4 years I have run a local kids community service group.  These monthly meetings are a lot of work to prepare for but such a joy to run.  We visit a nursing home every other month and then on the opposite months participate in age appropriate service projects.  I am a former teacher and these monthly meetings with families fill me up and keep me invested in this important work that I am doing.  I love working with children and showing them that they can make a difference in this world no matter how old they are.

Despite the joy that these meetings bring, the day of the event always leaves me nervous and a little discouraged.  The day of our meetings, we always have families drop out last minute due to illness, school projects and other commitments.  I understand that unexpected events come up and people need to cancel (I have had to cancel commitments last minute in the past) but it is hard to watch the names on my list dwindle down each meeting day. It makes me question why I am working so hard and spending so much time preparing for these events?  How do I not disappoint the people we are trying to serve when families continue to cancel last minute?

Click HERE to read more…

 

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Serving in the Park–2/6/19

My stomach was in knots as I made the now familiar drive to the park.  The fears shared by family members raced through my head as we got closer and closer.  The arguments that I had shared with them, “No place is safe anymore, people get shot and hurt in schools, churches and malls.”, also went through my mind.  

I took a few deep breaths and thought about the faces of those we would serve today.  I thought of the interactions that my children would have with them and the smiles that my children would bring.  “The kids make me so happy.  They remind me of a time before I screwed up my life.”  This was important work we were a part of.  We were not only passing out lunches but giving out hope, love and kindness to these people who desperately need it.

CLICK HERE to read more….

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