How kids can help SVDPP.

Thursday - March 6, 2014

SVDPP Ambassadors – Children Who Make a Difference

Many times parents ask how younger children can get involved at SVDPP since volunteers must be 18 years old to participate here. They can make a huge difference and we definitely need to help them get started now.  Here are some ideas. 

Start at home with conversations that express your family values. Show your child by your example how your family cares and makes decisions that help others less fortunate. Help them to understand that they can also contribute by donating clothing and toys that they no longer need or want. Explore other ideas and encourage them to be creative. Suggest that doing chores can be a special way for them to help others by earning money to donate. They can clean, do dishes, shovel, or run errands, etc. to boost a collection. They can host a gathering of friends or relatives who will willingly pitch in or bring items for their cause. Some children ask for food donations in lieu of birthday gifts, for example.

Families with young children can focus on collecting books, warm clothing, blankets, backpacks, and personal care items for the homeless.  If your children belong to any organization or church, encourage them to mention their goals and ask others to join them.

Children can discuss their goals with their teacher and class and ask for assistance. One first grade class in Norwich started a food closet in their school. That project became a school-wide service-learning project that delivered about 16,000 food items to St. Vincent de Paul Place in an 8 year period. Students contributed, counted, sorted, and delivered all of the items.  They wrote about and visited the soup kitchen and homeless shelter and felt very powerful about their accomplishments.
 
Some other suggestions:

- Plan your own food drive. Decorate a large box and place it somewhere where it can easily be seen. Perhaps there is a workplace or a convenient public area or an event where people would be generous. Advertise ahead of time. (Adults are usually more receptive to giving something if a child asks.)

- Assemble your own “Holiday Hope Box” for a needy or homeless child. Fill the box with small toys, toiletries and art supplies, chosen for a special boy or girl of a specific age and label it. Create and include your own hand-designed holiday card.

- Make a care package with mittens, socks, T-shirts, etc. for a needy child.

- Make warm scarves from fleece fabric. Buy lengths of micro-fleece and simply cut them into strips. Then cut the ends into fringe. The fleece does not unravel so no sewing is required. All you need is approximately 8 to 10 inches wide by 3-5 feet in length. Try knotting the fringe pieces together, two by two, so that all of the fringes are knotted or slide beads onto the fringe and tie another knot for decoration.

- Donate art supplies to kids in a homeless shelter.

- Make a holiday basket or a centerpiece for the SVDPP dining area.

- Decorate placemats and make cards to brighten someone’s day there.

- Bake a batch of cookies or cupcakes and deliver them.

- Make first aid kits for the homeless shelter.

- Organize a neighborhood group to plant, tend and harvest a vegetable garden and donate some of your produce to SVDPP.

- Buy some seeds and grow your own flowers or plants to sell.

- Children can also participate in various fun service-learning projects that address hunger over the internet. For example, if you have access to a computer and the internet, introduce your children to the United Nations World Food Program to help end hunger - http://www.freerice.com. This Twenty Grains of Rice website offers an English multiple-choice vocabulary test. For each word they define correctly, 20 grains of rice are donated. To date--over 66 Billion grains have been donated!

Email us your creative ideas so that we can share them on this website. Hopefully others will join in to help make your efforts successful. Don’t delay, start today!

St. Vincent de Paul Place | 8:45 AM