Incredible Kids, Kids in Service Clubs

Kids in Service was on TV!!

www.kidsinservice.net-3

Watch the interview below to see what some of the kids love about Kids in Service & to learn more about our local Kids in Service program!  Thank you so much to Cheryl Haas for inviting us to be her first guests on her new show, Community Connection!

Blog, Incredible Kids, Making a Difference

My Two Incredible Kids

pay it forward summer (3)

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.

We are a homeschooling family and as part of their portfolios, I write up an End of Year Assessment.  Over the past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time reflecting upon what the kids have accomplished during this school year.  Looking back, it is easy to see that this has been a Year of Service for our family.  Service learning is a valuable tool for all kids, no matter their age or where they go to school.  Learning to think about others, embracing diversity, learning about the bigger world and finding a way to help make a difference are important life-long lessons that they will carry with them into adulthood.

One of Zach and Caroline’s big service projects, happens right here in our home.  For the past 6 years my children have produced a community newspaper for friends and family.  They have over 40 subscribers, many contributors and put out 3 issues a year.  They charge a nominal fee for their paper but because of their generous subscribers, they have raised over $1200 in 6 years.  ALL of that money has been donated to 12 different charities.  This newspaper has evolved over the years and has become a community project.  I am so proud of how hard Z and C work and how careful they are to pick the charities that will be receiving the funds after each issue.

Outside of the home, Zach and Caroline have spent many hours this year serving our community.  It is not always fun for them but they show up and work hard until the job is done.  They have learned first hand about homelessness, compassion, drug addictions, diversity, poverty, empathy, hunger and gratitude.  I am so proud of them, the work they are doing and look forward to serving along side them, for many years to come.  They are INCREDIBLE Kids!

Incredible Kids, Kindness, Making a Difference, Quick Service Projects

Bags for the Homeless

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Recently our Kids in Service NH group came together to make Homeless Bags and Dignity Bags for a local homeless shelter.  All of the bags included necessary items to help with hygiene and comfort.  The children made cards with uplifting messages and drawings for each bag so that the recipient would know that they are special.

The Dignity Bags that we packed (I did this project with older children) were so appreciated. I spoke with one woman who said that being homeless is tough enough but being a homeless woman is really challenging.  Homeless shelters do not always have feminine products available.  These are not items that are donated often and there is such a demand for them.

Making bags for the homeless is one of my favorite service projects to do with a group.  We were able to make 32 bags when we did this project.  Each family was in charge of bringing a group of items (32 granola bars etc.) and we split up the more expensive items.  Below you will find some suggestions for items for your bags.  Many of these items can be collected on hotel stays (shampoo, soap, lotion etc.).  You need not include all of the items below, these are just some ideas.

Item Ideas for a Homeless Bag

large plastic bag (gallon size)

pair of socks

bar of soap (with a small plastic bag so they can store the used soap for future showers)

travel bottle of shampoo

toothbrush and toothpaste

granola or cereal bars

chapstick

wash cloth

hand wipes

travel bottle of hand lotion

comb

a sweet treat (be careful to include items that won’t melt if it is summer)

A Note or Drawing of Encouragement

 

Item Ideas for a Dignity Bag

All of the Items Above

women’s underwear

feminine products

razor and shaving cream

 

Things not to Include

Anything that Includes Alcohol (hand sanitizer, mouthwash, perfume etc.)

Anything that is expired or that will spoil quickly

Make a Difference May-4

Makayla Waters (age 12) and Lily Levesque (age 11) of Salem, NH spent one evening putting together dignity bags for homeless women in Lawrence, MA.  They were inspired after reading an article called, The Homeless Period.  Many homeless women have to choose between sanitary products and food each month with the little money that they have.  These INCREDIBLE pre-teens decided to take action and put together dozens of bags during a weekend sleepover.  Makayla and Lily, thank you so much for being such thoughtful and INCREDIBLE kids!!

Incredible Kids, Kindness, Making a Difference, Service Projects for Families

Kid Knits-Started by a 9 Year-Old!

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“You’re never too young to change a life on the other side of the world”–www.kidknits.org

My daughter discovered Kid Knits a few years ago and we have purchased many of their hat making kits and yarn since.  Kid Knits was started by Ellie when she was just nine years old.  She wanted to help people on the other side of the world by using the yarn that they made to knit hats.  With family support, Ellie started a non-profit organization.  Kid Knits now supports woman in Chile, Rwanda and Kenya by giving them a channel to sell their yarn.

In our home we have made adult hats, child hats and doll hats (lots of doll hats).  The kits come with a round loom, directions and beautiful wool yarn in a variety of colors.  Making hats is super easy to do with the loom and the perfect thing to do while watching TV or listening to an audio book.  The kits range in price from $14-$24 or you can buy the yarn separately.  All kits come in beautiful handmade bag from Chile and they make wonderful gifts.

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From my 9 year old daughter: “The kit helps to make knitting hats easier.  The yarn is soft and bright. It is cool that a 9 year old started Kid Knits.”

Ellie is another example that you are never too young to make a difference in this world. From her home in Illinois, she is helping women on the other side of the world to have an income source.  Check out this video about Kid Knits below, Ellie is an INCREDIBLE Kid!!

Incredible Kids, Kindness, Making a Difference, Service Projects for Families

Organizing a Food Drive

Make a Difference May-2

A few years ago, our Kids in Service NH group organized a Food Drive.  Our goal was to collect 1,000 items for the local food bank and the kids worked so hard and surpassed that goal!

The food drive was organized in the spring and many went to door to door collecting food from neighbors.  The children emailed friends and family and asked for donations, many sent money.  My children sent a box with their dad to work and sent out a company wide email.  This experience was hands-on and I was so proud of the kids and all that they accomplished!

You do not need to set such a high goal but organizing a food drive with friends and family is a great way to give back to your local community.  This is a GREAT time of year to organize a food drive.  Food banks get the bulk of their donations in November and December and thus the spring and summer months can be pretty sparse.

Food Banks are looking for items that are non-perishable and that are within expiration date.  The best items to donate to food banks are:

FOOD

Peanut Butter (or Nut FREE versions)

Rice

Beans

Pasta and Sauce

Canned Meat (chicken, tuna, salmon, SPAM, ham)

Applesauce

Cooking Oils

Instant Mashed Potatoes

Canned Vegetables and Fruit

 

Hygiene Items

Soap and Shampoo

toothpaste and toothbrushes

Feminie Products

Diapers and Wipes

Meet Joshua, when he was 4 1/2 he started organizing food drives with the help of his parents in Miami where he is from.  This led to the start of his youth-led foundation, Joshua’s Heart.  Since starting his foundation, he has raised over 1 million dollars, distributed 2.2 million pounds of food, distributed 100 thousand toys, clothes and toiletries and has over 25 thousand youth volunteers.  The video above was filmed 4 years ago when he was just 11, it is both inspiring and heart warming.  Joshua is truly an INCREDIBLE kid!