Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Importance of Giving Back

I am a huge believer in teaching children the value of kindness. After all, it is the small kindnesses that really get us through our day. I like to model these things to my own children by helping out in the community or giving to charity. I also believe that this is an important thing to do all year long, not just during the holidays. Giving back does not have to be massively involved. 
One thing our family does is foster dogs. We only have one dog at a time and medical & food are paid for. There are so many benefits to this. First, of all, this is a dog that was on "death row", so you are saving a life. Second, my children get the experience of caring for another being. Third, the dogs are usually sweet and loving. And finally, it allows companionship for the dog we currently have. We can not afford another dog on our own, so fostering allows us to have additional doggies. If you would like to learn more, you can read about it on How to Be a Foster Parent for Dogs. Or check out Last Chance Animal Rescue on Facebook.

Another activity I have done with my boys, are Blessing Bags. These are ziploc bags filled with amenities and food. We keep these in the car in order to hand out to homeless people. I sign up for a lot of freebies, as well as coupon. These items are the things that I have put into my bags. Joy's Hope has a great article on what to place in Blessing Bags. 
My husband raised money and shaved his head for the St Baldrick's Foundation which provides research for children with cancer.

Some other ideas:
  1. Volunteer - a great place to start
  2. Donate books to the local library.
  3. Donate used phones. 
  4. Can you sew? Check out Nancy Zieman’s Top 10 Sewing & Quilting Volunteer Groups
  5. Join a walk to support medical research - what a great way for you to get exercise, as well as raise money for an important charity! The Walking Site lists events you can join.
 If you have other ideas, please leave them in the comments. Many of us want to help our communities, but don't know where to start.

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