Kids Helping Kids

I recently brought the boys to volunteer at Cradles to Crayons‘ Giving Factory, with a local moms group. I have been waiting for this moment. When they would be old enough to know when it’s time to serve & work and not play. Six seems to be the magical number for my boys.

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Right as we arrived,  I quickly learned I would have to leave to move my car. And when I returned, I could see my boys already hard at work.  The stress caused by getting lost multiple times, being late, and not being able to find parking, was quickly washed away. There they were, all set up in the Toy section: gloves on, spray bottles in hand, toothbrushes for scrubbing. They were working. They were serving. They were loving other children.

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I can’t say enough about how great an experience it was. At the debrief, they told us our group helped 72 children. 72! The boys were so proud of this number. They quickly asked when they could come back and do it again. Scrubbing toys is such a fun and easy job for young kids. Older kids and adults can volunteer in one of the many different areas: sorting clothing, equipment, books.

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On the long walk back to the car, we talked about why it is important to serve others. We talked about how there are so many children who don’t have toys. We talked about gratitude. We talked about how God wants us to show His love to others. And for the first time in all my attempts to teach them about giving, I think they started to get it. They felt complete joy by being able to help other kids!

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Ways you can help?

>> Please consider volunteering at Cradles to Crayons in either their Boston or Philly locations.

>> Donate new or gently used toys, clothes, books, baby equipment.

>> Winter is coming! Heavy coats, mittens, boots, hats are needed. Even if you don’t have a Cradles to Crayons near you, donate to Salvation Army. They’ll even send a truck to you to pick up your goods.

Hurricane Sandy Relief: How you can help

The devastation of Hurricane Sandy is clear to all, even to those who live in other areas of our nation. Help is desperately needed, and not all of us can be present to lend a hand. Here are a few ways we can help from afar.

There are the large organizations making huge differences (Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, Salvation Army…see below), and they all need our donations.  But Hope Mob is using social media to connect generous strangers directly to people in need. And remember, any amount you can give is generous.

Hope Mob (Where Generous Strangers Unite)

We are partnering directly with the NYC Rescue Mission and over 20 families on the ground in Manhattan to meet urgent needs. 100% of what you donate here will go to support verified victims only and we will even cover the processing fees.

Donate to Hope Mob’s Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Follow them on Twitter (@Hope) for more updates and ways you can help. The founder, Shaun King (@ShaunKing) is tweeting addresses of where food and supplies are needed. Help on the ground level.

Click here to donate online to RED CROSS DISASTER RELIEF

Prefer to text your donation? Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps people affected by disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires and tornadoes.

Blood donations are always needed. To learn more about where you can give blood, visit www.redcrossblood.org

The Red Cross is also urging Platelet donations because they only have a shelf life of 5 days. Read more about Platelet donations that are also needed.

What is a Platelet Donation?

During a platelet donation, a small portion of your blood (about 1/4 pint at a time), is drawn from your arm and passed through a sophisticated cell-separating machine. The machine collects the platelets and safely returns the remaining blood components, along with some saline, back to you. After the donation you can resume your normal activities, avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous exercise that day.

Read more from redcrossblood.org

Samaritan’s Purse is sending staff, equipment, and volunteers to help victims of Hurricane Sandy at three locations in New Jersey. We have established bases of operation in Atlantic, Bergen, and Ocean Counties, areas that were hard hit by the superstorm.

Our main priority will be finding homeowners that we can help in their time of need with a focus on low-lying, low-income areas. Most of the work will likely be tree removal and mud-outs.

Read more about Samaritan’s Purse Hurricane Sandy response

To see more about Samaritan’s Purse’s Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, watch the following video.

Click here to donate online to Samaritan’s Purse. (You can specify U.S. Relief.)

Can’t donate at this time? Consider Volunteering your time.

Unable to donate or volunteer? That’s okay. Prayers are always welcome and needed for those affected by the storm and for volunteers.

The Salvation Army is serving those impacted by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with food, clean-up kits, as well as emotional and spiritual care.

As of Wednesday:

  • New Jersey: The Salvation Army is serving hundreds of people at shelters throughout the state. This includes service in Atlantic and Hunterdon Counties. Starting today, The Salvation Army is also providing food, hydration and emotional and spiritual care to first responders in Freehold, NJ. A Salvation Army mobile feeding unit (canteen) has also deployed from Western Pennsylvania to support efforts in the state.
  • New York City: Officials from the Office of Emergency Management have appointed The Salvation Army as the lead agency for the City’s Food Access Plan, to coordinate efforts ensuring access to food for city residents. For the next few days The Salvation Army will be serving food at Seward High School in lower Manhattan where 1,000 people are being fed breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Read about their local efforts on their blog.

Donate online to Salvation Army Emergency Disaster
Donate By Phone:  1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
Text-to-Give: Text the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.”*