Empathy, Kindness

Project Seeds of Kindness

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A few years ago my Kids in Service group made Seeds of Kindness.  After reading the book, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson, I was inspired to find a simple way for the kids in my group to start their own Pay it Forward project.  

Each family was given this cute little smile bag that I found on Oriental Trading and some emoji magnets (also from Oriental Trading).  The kids made happy pictures with uplifting messages on them, “You are Special!”Thanks for Being YOU!” and enclosed the magnet inside of their folded up picture.  They were then encouraged to pass out their Seeds of Kindness to the people that they encountered over the summer.

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Will you and your family accept this mission of KINDNESS?

Your Mission:  Create simple Seeds of Kindness to help brighten the day of the people you meet when you are out and about in the world.

Supplies:  paper, drawing materials, a bag to hold the Seeds of Kindness so you can take them on the go (a ziplock works great).

Optional Supplies: fun magnets, a dollar scratch ticket, single stemmed flowers, a happy eraser, a pretty stone, $5 gift card for a coffee (the possibilities are endless).

Procedure: Work as a family to create happy and uplifting drawings.  Everyone who can hold a crayon without eating it can participate in this part! Write uplifting messages on the drawings (You are Special, You are One of a Kind, Thanks for Being You, You are going a Great Job, Thanks for Being a Light in this World, Thanks for your Smiles etc.).  Fold up the drawings into small squares (“seeds”) and put them in a bag of your choice so you can take them with you on the go.

Optional:  Add a fun magnet, a dollar scratch ticket, a flower a happy eraser, a pretty stone or a $5 gift card for coffee or lunch to the seeds.

Keep the Seeds of Kindness with you in the car or while you are on the go and when you see someone who has gone above and beyond or someone who looks like they could use a pick me up, give them a Seed of Kindness.  Perhaps the mailman looks a little blue, the woman at the checkout was extra friendly or a mom with screaming children looks like she could use some kindness.  These Seeds of Kindness are meant to be spread around and given to EVERYONE.  My family loves to give them to the toll attendants (along with a $5 gift card at the Holidays) and their reactions are alway priceless.

featured, Kindness, Making a Difference, Pay it Forward Summer, Service Projects for Families

Art for Hospice

Make a Difference May

It is hard not to smile when you look at the children’s artwork on this page.  In January, our Kids in Service NH group painted cheerful paintings for the patients at a hospice house. Volunteers visit the residents and ask if they would like to choose one of our paintings to cheer up their room.  The painting of their choice gets hung on their bulletin board and it is our hope that everyone who visits their room is brought a little joy in a very difficult situation.

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This spring, we partnered with the hospice house again and painted small terra cotta pots.  I sealed each one with glaze and then we planted a flower in each pot.  The 20 pots were delivered to the patients staying at the hospice house and other hospice patients around the community.

Make a Difference May-11

Creating artwork to cheer up hospice patients is a WONDERFUL service project for all ages.  You could paint uplifting paintings, make blank greeting cards with the children’s drawings on the front or paint pots like we did.  I recommend that you reach out to the volunteer coordinator at your local hospice house and see if they would like children’s art donations.

Hospice is a very difficult and sad concept for young children.  I suggest that you tell your children that you are painting happy art for people who are sick in the hospital.  That is all they need to know to be invested in this project.  I am sure that their art donation will not only bring a little joy into the patient’s heart but the hearts of their family as well.

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!