Category - Social Good

Reasons to Teach Children to Feed the Hungry

I worked with The Motherhood on this post, sponsored by ConAgra Foods. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you read my last post on Steps to Help Feed Hungry Kids this Summer you know how many children who receive free or reduced lunch are missing out on those meals right now. If not it’s roughly 90 percent, meaning almost all children who count on those meals during the school year.

Aside from the obvious reasons to help feed these children, there are a lot of reasons to teach your children and involve your entire family in feeding the hungry. Wanna know what they are???

Reasons to Teach Children to Feed the Hungry #hungerfreesummer

 

1. Serving others teaches your children empathy. This character trait is so important in today’s society and can only be taught by, “putting yourself in other’s shoes” and one BIG way to do this is to serve others. In this case when your children collect food or purchase food and give it directly to a family in need they are seeing the result of their giving face-to-face. How impactful.

2. You will expand their worldview when you help them to think about others. When you are taught to do something for someone other than yourself you realize that the world is a big place with many different kinds of people. It’s good for us to think outside of ourselves.

3. You help them realize life isn’t always fair. When you serve you have the opportunity to open up communication with your child to speak about the fact that some people don’t have money or food and you and others do. This is a chance to let them know how life works and answer any questions they may have. You don’t always get rewarded for good behavior or punished for bad behavior in the real world, and unfortunately sometimes good things go unrewarded or sometimes even punished.

4. Hopefully, this will create in them a desire to continue to volunteer. Kids may not always love helping others out, but for some children this desire will be laid on their heart and they will in turn be excited to tell their peers or even invite their peers to help out. We have had friends whose children {on their own} have asked for charitable donations instead of birthday gifts, our family hosts lemonade stands to profit local causes. When kids get that giving is a good thing be sure not to put their fire out, hop on their train and be their #1 supporter.

Other like-minded parents and bloggers have joined in the effort to serve hungry kids this summer. In an effort to spread the word on social media we have a Pinterest board, “A Childlike Summer,” on the ConAgra Foods Feeding America page and I would love it if you would take a moment to check it out, there are some great ideas for helping and getting your family involved in something that may change your life and the lives of others.

Also I encourage you to watch this video – for every view, like or share of this Kid President video NOW through July 31, the ConAgra Foods Foundation will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America (up to 2 million meals):

 

 

And remember it’s never too young to start teaching your children to feed the hungry.

 

 

Have you volunteered yet? What benefits have you seen from volunteering with your children?

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Motherhood. This message is important to me personally and I am honored to be able to pass on this information and truly encourage you to thoughtfully consider helping Feeding America and ConAgra Foods give kids a hunger-free summer. Thank you for your readership!

 

Steps to Help Feed Hungry Kids this Summer

I worked with The Motherhood on this post, sponsored by ConAgra Foods. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kids Summer Fun MommyB

 

As parents, we often focus on the goal of Summer as time for our kids to have fun and relax before school starts up again. We try to make sure they’re not eating too much junk food and sweets with all the celebrations and parties, but there are parents who don’t have those options, their children are not having a fun summer, relaxing and eating sweets, their family is worrying about their next meal will come from because they’re not offered the reduced and free meals that schools offer. That breaks my heart and hopefully yours too.

I’ve joined forces with The Motherhood to help promote the Hunger-Free Summer campaign, and bring awareness to child hunger.

The ConAgra Foods Foundation has continued to raise awareness and invest in solutions for child hunger in the summertime, but we need your help!

This summer, 26 food banks in 18 states will use Hunger-Free Summer grants, funded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation – ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 – to expand their summer feeding program, bringing more healthy meals to more children during the summer.

 

Please watch this video – for every view, like or share of this Kid President video NOW through July 31, the ConAgra Foods Foundation will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America (up to 2 million meals):

ConAgra Foods Foundation is a leader in the child hunger space partnering with some of the largest nonprofit organizations dedicated to child hunger.

ConAgra Foods’ Hunger-Free Summer initiative with Feeding America has a goal of reaching at least 25 percent more children in need during the summer than before, over the course of five years. There are ways that our families can help too.

Ways you Can Help Give Children a Hunger Free Summer

Aside from donating by liking, sharing, viewing the above video, here are some additional Steps to Help Feed Hungry Kids this Summer:

  • Volunteer: While providing meals is a top priority, fun activities are also important in attracting children to feeding sites. During the summer, volunteers can help transport food, help an existing feeding site with lunch preparation and clean-up, or do activities with the children. Visit www.feedingamerica.org to find a nearby food bank in need of volunteers.
  • Host a Food Drive: Find out the items needed at the feeding site and collect food through your church, organizations, and even play groups. Every item helps.
  • Advocate: To find meal sites in your area, call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479).
  • Learn: To learn more about the issue of child hunger, visit www.childhungerendshere.com and click on the “tacking action” tab.

It’s awesome when big businesses do their part and equally awesome when we do ours. What will you do to help fill an empty stomach this summer?

 

Hunger Free Summer MommyB

 

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Motherhood. This message is important to me personally and I am honored to be able to pass on this information and truly encourage you to thoughtfully consider helping Feeding America and ConAgra Foods give kids a hunger-free summer. Thank you for your readership!

 

How to Teach Children about Global Ministry and Goodwill

Often times I hear the argument from people as to why we should bother helping people in our own countries when there are so many people struggling with poverty, healthcare, and other issues in our own nation.

Last I checked, no where in the Bible does it say that we are to only help those who are our neighbors. If we want to single out only those that are in other countries, what’s to say that we shouldn’t start segregating by gender, ethnicity, religion, age, and so on?

I enjoy helping people whether they live under my roof, are in my community, live in my state, have a home in America, or live on the same planet. For me the word “neighbor” isn’t specific to the zip code I live in.

One of the reasons I’m so passionate is because I love helping others. I hope that is evident by posts on volunteer projects with my family, working with a local domestic violence non-profit, and other events/things I don’t need to list out. I don’t help others only because I truly have a heart for others but because God commands us to help one another.

James 2: 14-17 says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Sure, we can memorize all the Bible verses in the world, and talk to others about our faith, but if we’re not putting God’s love and grace into action how are we truly reaching others?

How are we teaching our children about global ministry and goodwill??

Teaching our children about other countries and their needs whether they are preschool age or in college, we can all learn new things about what life is like around the world. In the Five-Day Experience your family can enjoy learning about Kenya. By taking 15 minutes a day, sitting down as a family, and participating in this devotional you’re offering your family chances to openly discuss, pray about, and grow a heart for neighbors in other countries.

I love this experience because it gives families personal stories of real people living in Kenya, fun facts about the country and then ties it in with a compelling bible verse. There’s also a student version available for bible studies and student groups.

How can we apply what we are learning?

One organization, Awana Clubs International, encourages families {and non-families alike} to help their neighbors by putting their faith into action. Right now in Kenya, Awana is reaching 122,000 kids, creating life-long disciples that will help transform their slums, neighborhoods, villages and cities. As you’ve seen in the news, Kenya is a place that needs hope, the hope of the Gospel, and that’s where you come in.

Through their current project, Not the End, you can purchase limited edition t-shirts for $15, where more than 40% of each purchase goes to helping fund training and further the reach of ministry in Kenya. To “sweeten the deal”, Crossway publishing company is donating a Bible for each shirt sold.

Not the End Awana Social Media Graphic

For many of these children, this Bible will be first one they may have owned. What’s even more incredible, if a person, family or organization sells or buys 30 shirts, their name will be entered into a drawing from which five people and a guest each will be selected to travel with Awana to Kenya in 2014 to minister in the slums of Kibera, do service work in an orphanage and distribute Bibles.

Buy your Not the End shirt HERE and change the world. Also make sure you follow We are Not the End on Facebook, Twitter and when you buy your shirt make sure to hashtag #wearenottheend

Not The End MommyB

 

 

I received a Not the End T-shirt and marketing materials and was asked to write about this project. I gladly agreed. My family and I love supporting great causes and if you see it posted on my blog it’s something that I stand behind or think you should know about. Thank you for reading and sharing!

Red Cross, CVS/pharmacy, MommyB Knows Best Service Day Recap

Thank you all for your thoughts and participation on the Red Cross, CVS/pharmacy and MommyB Knows Best Service Day! The day was a huge success, so many lives will be touched by the work that went on a few weekends ago and it definitely ignited a strong desire in my heart to continue to serve my community and others in this way.

CVS/pharmacy not only donated a large number of personal care and hygiene products, but with the help of the awesome people at Matter Communications we were able to connect and serve along with some amazing Red Cross of Charlotte volunteers.

Here’s my video recap of the days events and some pictures!

Red Cross CVS MommyB Knows Best Service Day

This day will certainly be one I won’t remember. I was able to vocally share my story of the devastating house fire my family lived through, which I haven’t done much in my life and even though tears filled my eyes and my voice wavered throughout I know that the more I tell my story the more lives will be touched, and the more awareness it will bring.

I feel so blessed to have been able to be a part of this event and am grateful for all the people who believed in me to organize it, but give all the glory to God. He is the one who not only saved me from the fire that day, but has given me new life in Him.

What are you and your family currently doing or plan on doing to serve others in your community or across the globe??

Tips for Teaching Kids to Volunteer – Operation Christmas Child #OCCGiving

I know I’m going to sound super old saying this or maybe just more traditional than some, but I feel like in today’s society children are lacking a sense of kindness, compassion, and generosity for others.

For my family it is important that our girls have a sense of giving back to the community. There are several ways we’ve instilled that in them and as they get older we will continue to do so.

Start them young. Kids are impressionable, and getting them involved in showing love for others with acts of kindness at such a young age will, just like any other activities or traditions you start early, make it a part of their everyday life.

Be age appropriate. You know your child’s maturity level and personality more than anyone else, so take this into consideration when choosing an activity for them to participate in. Operation Christmas Child is a great activity for kids of all ages. My girls decided to choose 2 children from their own age range to give gifts to, and it’s something a teenage would like and even my 2 year-old was excited to buy gifts and pack our shoebox.

Operation Christmas Child

Be upfront with them. Explain to them that there are children and families without anything. Remind them that it’s our job to help one another and that God commands it. John 13: 34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Most importantly though: Show them what it means to volunteer. It’s a well-known fact that kids learn through watching adults, especially from their parents. As an example to our children the BEST way to model kindness, compassion, and generosity is to have those qualities and exhibit them whether we’re in the line at a grocery store, serving at a local soup kitchen, and especially in our own home.

How we’ve put volunteering into place in our family. We decided this year, as one of our many holiday volunteer efforts with the girls that we would pack two Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes for children without this year. We love this idea because it’s not only easy, but it’s fun too.

We’d love for you and your family to join us, and be an example to the world. Here’s how you can pack your own shoe box, or go online to build one or gift one to a friend to build.

1. Use an empty shoe box(standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required.

2. Boy or Girl? Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. You can download a label online or click the Follow Your Box option to get a special label to learn the destination of you shoe box gift.

3. Fill it up! Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child such as toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. A list of suggested gift items is available here.

Packed Boxes 4. Donate $7 Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our Follow Your Box option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse(note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.

5. Drop Off Click HERE to find the closest drop-off location during you and drop off your box during OCC’s National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19, 2012, {however they will accept mailed shoe boxes year-round}.

{Gifts are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.}

Be sure to check Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child out on Social Media too:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OCCshoeboxes
Twitter: @OCC_shoeboxes #OCCGiving
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/OCCshoeboxes
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SamaritansPurseVideo?feature=chclk

Regardless of what activity you choose to volunteer your family’s time for, or when you plan on serving, getting your family involved in giving to others will change the world. I promise.

This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.

Operation Christmas Child and influencer marketing platform BlogFrog have teamed up with 200 bloggers like me to spread the word about this great cause.

BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.

David Arquette and EcoMom Fight Childhood Hunger – #It’sAllGood Campaign

David & founders_pr

ecomom_logoI hope that we, as a country, are at a point where we realize that starving children are not just a problem in third world countries, but a large problem here in the United States as well. Personally, it bothers me {in a good way} to see people begging for food, I have yet to see, with my own eyes, a child in this similar position. However, just because I have not seen it in my own life doesn’t mean it’s not a very very real and sad issue in our country.

That’s why I am writing about the, “It’s All Good Campaign”. EcoMom co-founders Jody Sherman (CEO) and Emily Blakeney (Chief Mom Officer) are championing the “It’s All Good” nation-wide giving initiative to feed children across the U.S.  Teaming up with actor and father David Arquette, to bring aid to the hunger struggle that faces about 1 in 5 US children. The goal of this awesome campaign is to feed at least 100,000 hungry children in the U.S. this year.  David Arquette, committed super dad and three+ year volunteer as well as a long-term supporter of Feeding America.

David & founders_pr

 

So how can you help??? For every purchase YOU make through ecomom.com, no matter how big or small, the site will donate three healthy, nutritious meals for a day for a child between the ages of 4 and 18 months. You heard me right, 3 meals for a day for one child, just for making a purchase from the site that’s filled with a bunch of stuff you’re probably already buying anyway.

What are you waiting for? Help me, by doing your part. It takes a village to raise a child, let’s build up our population and take care of the children that need us.

I am going to receive $50 for writing this post. I commit to spending the entire $50 {if not more} on products fro ecomom.com. When I receive my products, those will also be given to a family in need. I know some of you even may be struggling, but for those of you who have extra and are willing to give I pray that you consider it. There’s no reason children should go hungry if we can help it. 

David Arquette giving food

Pfister Revitalizes Homes with Rebuilding Together

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DaddyB and I feel that it’s very important to teach our girls about community, giving to others, and being selfless. The best way to show them the qualities we want them to have is by showing them through our actions. In church we participate in donating food and other goods to families worldwide and in our own backyard as well. We love serving all over the place and that goes for our hometown as well.

One of my favorite places to volunteer my time and goods to is Florence Crittenton Services of NC. This is a very special facility in Charlotte that houses single, teens and women and their families. A majority of the women living at Florence Crittenton are pregnant or have young children. It’s so nice to be able to make and serve a meal, but the absolute best part of the trips are when I get to sit with the women and just talk.

Helping out in our neighborhood is important. How do you help out in your community??

In honor of all the hard work done by Rebuilding Together, the great people of Pfister would like to make their job a little easier.  For every new “like” on Pfister’s Facebook page, $1 worth of brand new Pfister faucets will be donated to the organization up to $20,000 worth of product for homes in need.  During the month of April, which happens to be National Rebuilding Month, you can help, too!

Here’s how you can help Pfister and Rebuilding Together reach their goal:

  • “Like” Pfister’s Facebook Page and $1 worth of product will be donated
  • Already a fan of Pfister? Make a monetary donation to Rebuilding Together through the Friends of Pfister campaign on Causes.com!  Pfister will even match your donation up to a total of $5,000.
  • Join my Blog Hop!
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Want to do more to help?  Join my Friends of Pfister Blog Hop!

  • Simply publish a post on your blog sharing how you get involved in your own community and encourage your readers to like Pfister’s Facebook page and join the effort for Rebuilding Together.
  • Amplify your post on Twitter using hashtag #PfisterHop
  • Link up your post on the linky below so readers can “hop” the posts and read your experiences.
  • Encourage your readers to join the Blog Hop, too!  The more posts the merrier!  Host the linky code in your post so your readers can join in the fun!
  • Posts must be included in the linky by 11:59pm EST on April 30, 2012.  Only one blog post per domain name, please.

Grab the code:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://www.simply-linked.com/listwidget.aspx?l=7b96a0a4-d1be-4865-8ad8-83ca0e448f8a” ></script>

OK, you joined the Blog Hop…so now what?

  • Pfister will donate $1 in product to Rebuilding Together for every post on the Blog Hop linky (up to $500 in product donation).
  • Twenty (yes, TWENTY) posts included in the Blog Hop linky will receive your choice of one Pfister faucet from among several kitchen and bath options! Have you seen the selection?!?  Winning posts will be randomly selected.

Ready, Set, Go!  Pfister and I thank you for helping spread the word during National Rebuilding Month.  With your help, many homes in need will receive a much needed facelift.

Macy’s “Believe” Campaign

Santa Mail MacysDid you ever wonder what happens to all those letters to Santa Claus kids drop in the mailbox each December?
A few years ago, I found the answer. Through “Operation: Letters to Santa,” USPS employees and volunteers helped Santa write back to as many children as possible.

I volunteered to help Santa write to children for many years. As I sipped hot chocolate and scarfed down Christmas cookies, I’d gingerly open letter after letter to the big fella.

Some were hopeful (“…please, please, PLEASE bring me an American Girl Doll!”). Some were skeptical (“…I know I’m not supposed to believe in you still…”). Some were heartbreaking (“My dad is in jail. I don’t want any presents…just let him come home.”).

Oh, how I wanted to grant each one’s wish!

Thanks to the Macy’s department store’s “Believe” campaign, we can help grant children’s wishes in a magical way. Now through Christmas Eve, Macy’s is encouraging believers of all ages to write letters to Santa and drop them in the Santa Mail letterbox at any Macy’s store. Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for each letter it receives – up to $1 million.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation helps grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
My 4-year-old, Riley, and I dropped off our letter this week – addressed to the North Pole, naturally. In Charlotte, you can deliver your letters to Macy’s locations at NorthLake Mall or SouthPark Mall.

HawaiiNow that I’m all grown up, I have a million reasons to believe in the magic of Christmas. I’m blessed to have a 4-year-old son who believes in Santa and in helping boys and girls less fortunate than him. He’s my Christmas gift – the reason I believe in Santa Claus.

Now, Santa, about that trip to Hawaii I’ve been asking for…