“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.
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!!
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:
Peanut Butter (or Nut FREE versions)
Pasta and Sauce
Canned Meat (chicken, tuna, salmon, SPAM, ham)
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Canned Vegetables and Fruit
Soap and Shampoo
toothpaste and toothbrushes
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!
Check out the bottom of this post for tips on how to hold a safe fundraiser during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosting a fundraiser for charity is a WONDERFUL way to help your children make a difference in their community or in the greater world. Lemonade stands and bake sales (or a combination) are great ways for children to work and raise money for a charity they believe in.
The lemonade and cookie stand above was run by my children and their cousins on a hot spring day. We had permission to set up the stand and all of their ingredients were donated. They helped to bake the cookies, make the lemonade, create the signs and set up the stand. They had set prices but asked each customer if they would like their change (most said “NO”) and the kids raised over $60 for the NH Food Bank.
Tips to have a successful fundraiser:
Get the ingredients donated (have your parents, grandparents or neighbors donate your ingredients so that all money raised can be donated to charity)
Make sure to wash your hands when handling all food and drink!!
Post any allergens in your baked goods (nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs etc.)
Make sure your city or town does not require a permit for hosting a charitable lemonade stand or bake sale.
Set up in a high traffic area (but make sure you have permission to be there if it is not private property).
Make sure you have adult supervision!
Have a box with change.
Make signs with your prices and the charity you will be donating to.
Make sure you have plenty of cups, napkins and ice in a cooler to keep your lemonade cold.
Additional Tips to have a safe and successful fundraiser during COVID-19 Pandemic:
Wear a mask so that your customers feel safe.
Sell pre-packaged drinks and snacks instead of baked goods and homemade lemonade
Have hand sanitizer at your stand for you and your customers to use
Tessa Has Changed Her Community Through Baking Cookies
Can a Cookie Change the World? by Rhonda Boiling –This is a new book to me and I absolutely LOVED it. What a great message for children that they CAN make a big difference in their community (and the world). Tessa at age 7, wanted to help the local homeless population and decided to raise money at the local Christmas Bazaar by baking cookies. This small idea turned into an annual cause that the community has rallied behind. Kids Cookie’s for a Cause has raised thousands of dollars for many different charities and causes. Tessa is an INCREDIBLE kid! This book would be perfect or ages 5 and up and 70% of the proceeds of this book, go to charity!
Children Who Have Made a Difference with Lemonade Stands
There are countless stories on the internet of children organizing successful lemonade stands for charity. Here are four sweet stories of four INCREDIBLE kids.
Alex’s Lemonade is an organization that was started by Alex Scott while she was fighting childhood cancer. She hosted a lemonade stand at age 4 in her yard to raise money for childhood cancer research and raised over $2,000. Before her death in 2004, Alex had raised over $1,000,000 for charity. Alex’s parents set up a non-profit in her memory and children all over the world hold lemonade stands in the month of June to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. If you would like to sign up to participate in this fundraiser, please click HERE. Alex was an INCREDIBLE Kid!
Ella, who was born with a cleft lip, raised over $19,000 for the charity Smile Train with her first lemonade stand. Smile Train provides the funds for children with cleft lips, to have surgery to correct their lips. Ella had cleft lip surgery when she was a baby and wanted to organize the stand to help children just like her who couldn’t afford the surgery. She now holds a lemonade stand every year on her birthday and it is believed she has raised over $120,000.
This young boy heard that the family of one of his classmates was struggling to put food on the table and he knew he wanted to help. He set up a local lemonade stand and raised over $500 for his local food bank. This donation purchased over 2,000 pounds of food for the food bank shelves. Logan is an INCREDIBLE kid!
Meet Mikaila, she was 4 years old and when she was stung by 2 bees in one week. She decided to take that experience and learn something about the insects that scared her. After learning all about bees and the danger they face, she started a lemonade stand to raise money to help save the bees. Fast forward to today and she has turned that little stand into a profitable business with a non-profit organization to help educate and save the honeybees. She was even on Shark Tank and you can find her Me and the Bees Lemonade at Whole Foods and other small grocery stores! This little entrepreneur is an INCREDIBLE kid.
Birthday’s come but once a year and are a great reason to celebrate another trip around the sun. Unfortunately for some, birthdays are an added expense that can not be afforded. With a few simple items and a shoebox, you can create a birthday box to bless someone in need with a grand celebration.
What do you need for a birthday box?
1 box of cake mix
1 tub of frosting
birthday candles (no matches)
1-2 decorations (balloons, banner, streamers and/or party hat etc.)
small unisex toys or favors (stickers, crayons, markers, toy ball, small LEGO etc.)
a shoebox or small plastic rectangular box
We donated the birthday boxes we made to our local food bank and they distributed them out to families in need. This is an easy project for all ages and can make a big difference in the life of a child. You could even make this a tradition to put birthday boxes together on your children’s birthday. Everyone deserves the chance to celebrate their birthday.
Meet Bella, a third grader from Kentucky who builds birthday boxes to ensure that the children in her school are all able to celebrate their birthdays! What an INCREDIBLE kid!!
“The Birthday Box is a “party in a box” that is anonymously delivered to children who may not otherwise have a celebration on their special day.”
February is a great time to focus on KINDNESS. When my children were small, my husband and I decided against presents for Valentine’s Day. This has meant that the holiday has always been centered around LOVE and KINDNESS.
We spend the two weeks before Valentine’s Day focusing on kind deeds for one another and the people we care about. Here are some of the things that we do to help keep the focus on kindness and love.
1. Kindness Jar–We made our Kindness Jar about a year ago and it stays out in our dining room as a constant reminder to think of others and to be kind. We plan to pull out a new kind deed from the jar each day for the Kids in Service 5 days of Kindness Challenge.Click HERE for directions on how to make your own Kindness Jar and a FREE printable of kind deeds.
Make sure to join us on Facebook and Instagram on Monday February 8th for a week of Kindness and Prizes!
2. Valentine’s Day Count Down--I started this tradition when the kids were little. We have 14 envelopes to mark the days from February 1st-14th. Each envelope contains a slip of paper with a fun activity or project for us to do on that day. The envelopes include: Make your Valentine’s Today, Movie Night, Outdoor Adventure, Make a treat for the Birds, Good Deed Day, Call Someone You Love, Bake Cookies, Family Game Night etc.
3. Valentine Mailboxes--When my son was four and daughter was one, we made family Valentine Mailboxes (you know like the ones you make at school). Our first mailboxes are pictured above. A few years later I found cute little metal mailboxes in the Target dollar bins. These mailboxes come out of the attic on February 1st and we spend the next two weeks writing each other notes. I love the Target Mailboxes because there is a flag to put up to let the person know that they have mail. Once and a while, I will drop a sweet treat in the mailboxes, that is always a fun mail day.
4. Heart Attack–I saw this idea a few years back on the Skip to my Lou site and had to give it a try. It was so easy to do and made the three people in my house smile every morning when they saw the new heart on their door. I always make enough hearts to add a new one every day for 14 days. You could condense it to 5 or 7 days to make life easier.
5. Extra Valentine’s Day Card Service Project–The Valentine’s Day Card packs that you can buy in most stores come with WAY more than your child needs to send every friend in their class (and their teacher) a card. Instead of recycling those cards, why not have your child sign their name and send them to people who could use some cheer? Cards would be welcome at your local nursing home, homeless shelter, veterans home or halfway house. Consider spreading a little love and kindness with those extra cards this year!
6. Make Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards–My kids and I make our own homemade Valentine’s each year. I have them draw out four designs on one sheet of card stock and then color photocopy the design so that we have enough to send out. I love our original designs and I copy enough so that we can send them to all of our favorite people near and far. We also bring a few homemade cards to cheer up the residents of our local nursing home. The residents always love the homemade cards and gush over the kind gesture. It is such a sweet site to witness.
7. Project Dollar Store–Valentine’s Day is a great time to go on a Project Dollar Store Mission. You can read all about that SECRET MISSION HERE.
8. Winter Sun Catchers–This activity is so fun and easy to do and can be a nice Valentine’s Day treat for the birds and animals in your yard. We used paper for our hearts and did need to go outdoors to collect the paper when the ice melted. This year we are going to try for natural hearts and adding more birdseed. They are so pretty. You can learn how to make there on the Twig and Toadstool site.
Click HERE for a list of Books for Valentine’s Day
This is such a fun project and can be easily prepared while sitting in front of a cozy fire. Both of my kids loved being “ninjas” as they secretly spread out the baggies of love all over our local dollar store. Will you and your family accept this mission of LOVE?
Your Mission: Put together baggies with $1 dollar bills and messages of love. Spread them all over the dollar store with out being detected. Drive away with love in your hearts.
Supplies: ziplock baggies, $1 bills, sticky notes or paper and tape, writing/coloring tools
Procedure: Have your children write some positive messages on the sticky notes or paper (they can also draw simple pictures or color over your notes in crayon if they are not writing yet). Add a note that tells the person to use this dollar to buy something for themselves. Attach one note to each $1 bill and place the bill in the baggie. Zip up the baggie and then get ready for some SECRET FUN! Drive to the local dollar store and hide these baggies all over the store. On the way home you can imagine together how people will react when they find your kind gesture of love.
Did you complete this mission?
Take pictures of the process and email them to us at email@example.com.