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!!

Kindness, Making a Difference

Fundraising for a Cause

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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.

Our local animal shelter (Nevins Farm) will allow families to host a lemonade stand on their property, if you sign up for a date and donate all of the funds to their organization.  See if your shelter or another local charity will allow you to do the same.

Tips to have a successful fundraiser:

  1. Get the ingredients donated (have your parents, grandparents or neighbors donate your ingredients so that all money raised can be donated to charity)
  2. Advertise
  3. Make sure to wash your hands when handling all food and drink!!
  4. Post any allergens in your baked goods (nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs etc.)
  5. Make sure your city or town does not require a permit for hosting a charitable lemonade stand or bake sale.
  6. Set up in a high traffic area (but make sure you have permission to be there if it is not private property).
  7. Make sure you have adult supervision!
  8. Have a box with change.
  9. Make signs with your prices and the charity you will be donating to.
  10. Make sure you have plenty of cups, napkins and ice in a cooler to keep your lemonade cold.

 

Tessa Has Changed Her Community Through Baking Cookies

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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.