Volunteering with Kids – Small Change, Big Difference
This post is sponsored by Children’s Mercy Hospital
I’ve been reading a lot about how to battle entitlement in children. The answer I keep coming back to is that gratitude is the opposite of entitlement and we develop a strong sense of gratitude when we serve others. You may know that I am a part of the Children’s Mercy Hospital Moms Blogger Team and I bring you a post every month about children’s health topics. I feel that it is very important to help our children develop a strong sense of compassion and desire to serve others.
Children’s Mercy has a history of generous community support that began more than a century ago when the hospital’s founding sisters, Dr. Katharine Berry Richardson and Dr. Alice Berry Graham, wrote a list of needs on a chalkboard in front of the hospital. Neighbors and businesses donated everything from blankets to apples, making a big difference in advancing the sisters’ mission — to improve the health and well-being of all children. Can you imagine this? I love that visual of the big black chalkboard and neighbors coming, seeing what was needed and then heading to to purchase the items. What a show of community support!
Although what it takes to operate a hospital has evolved in the last century, the Children’s Mercy mission and the need for community support remain the same. Quite simply, every dollar, every blanket, every toy, every well wish makes a big difference in the life of a child.
The Small Change – Big Difference campaign features a simple way to give back: a piggy bank. For $35 online (or $30 at special events), you can purchase a piggy bank to take home, fill up and start a new family giving tradition. Your small change can make a big difference for kids in Kansas City.I love this idea of having a special piggy bank that my kids can fill up as their earn their own money to give to Children’s Mercy. When you start filling up your own piggy bank for CM you can have the kids take their change in person to Deanna Rose Farmstead on these dates, I can imagine that having the kids actually take their donating in person will be an impactful experience.
Saturday, July 30: Chicken Run
Saturday, August 13: Safety Day
These giving back tips from Children’s Mercy are awesome!
Spark a conversation. It is never too early to talk about giving back. Spark a conversation about helping others when you are in the car, at dinner or during the bedtime routine.
Avoid money-only talk. For kids to truly understand the impact of their donation, avoid only talking only about money. Expand your charitable donations to giving their favorite toys or spending time at a local food pantry. These experiences are real and personal.
Start a budget. You can help them divide their piggy bank treasure into three categories: something for them, something for others, and something to save for the future. This allows them to have a little fun while learning about the power of giving back.
Make it simple. Integrate a family give-back strategy into your everyday lives. Interested in sports? Volunteer as a coach. Too much clutter? Play a game of collecting old books for kids in need. Tired of birthday party excess? Ask party goers to donate to a favorite charity in lieu of gifts.
Earlier this year we visited two homeless shelters to deliver meals and we took dinner to the Ronald McDonald house. I loved serving with my small children and having them work to help others. They are only 3 and 5 but there was actually a lot that they could help with. They helped prepare the chili (dumping cans into the pot), assemble sandwiches, and serve meals. They also helped wipe down tables and do simple cleaning tasks at the locations where we served. They were great experiences that we need to do more of! Don’t be afraid to ask if you can bring your small children with you to volunteer opportunities!