Kids Can Play a Part in Helping Others

Stopping Hunger:

  • Recommend that your child's teacher sponsor a special hunger project. For information on adding hunger awareness to your school's curriculum, visit www.KidsCanMakeaDifference.org to learn about their "Finding Solutions to Hunger" curriculum.
  • Help older kids understand the roots and scope of the problem by encouraging them to do their own research on hunger.
  • Build a bank. Use it at home, at school or as part of a community group to save pennies, nickels and dimes to donate to charity. Let the kids decide whether the money should be used for one charity or shared among several.
  • Volunteer at an emergency food program. Food pantries and soup kitchens need volunteers, especially during the winter. But they often get more volunteers that they can handle right around the holidays - try to be flexible with your availability.
  • Organize a food drive. Call to find out what local food programs need.
  • Suggest that your child write a letter encouraging other children and families to act to help end hunger. Send it to your local newspaper.
  • Suggest that your child write to local, state or national government representatives. Ask your child to express his suggestions for supporting hungry or homeless citizens.

Helping the Homeless:

These ideas are a starting place. Call a local shelter to find out what specific kinds of help it needs.

  • Adopt a shelter. Give shelters a steady donation by setting up a box at school and collecting for a different need each month (food, toiletries, etc.).
  • Cook a meal. Many shelters allow groups to help prepare a meal.
  • Share toys. Play at a shelter with homeless children and leave toys behind when you leave.
  • Plan a children's party. Bring enough food and games for everyone.
  • Plan a fund-raiser. Raise money with a car wash, pancake breakfast or raffle. Donate all of the profits to a local shelter.
  • Read. Go to a shelter and read aloud to kids, or tape stories for kids to listen to later.
  • Create a service-learning project. Persuade your school to allow credit for volunteer time at a shelter.

© Parenthood.com, used with permission.

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