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Monday, April 22nd, 2013
This is a guest post from Karen Bantuveris, founder and CEO of VolunteerSpot.
This week starts National Volunteer Week (April 21-27), celebrating the good work of people doing extraordinary things through service. It’s the perfect time to let every food bank volunteer, after-school mentor, Habitat builder, community cleaner, shelter staffer, charity fundraiser, and anyone else who helps others know exactly how awesome they are and how much we appreciate them.
But what’s always surprising is the number of moms and dads who don’t consider themselves true “volunteers.” If they’re giving their time and their help to others, they most definitely are volunteers and should also be recognized.
So this week, be sure to celebrate yourself, your friends, and those in your community who make a meaningful difference to your kids and others. Recognize these wonderful do-gooders that go by the name of:
Sunday School Teacher
It’s also a great idea to teach our kids that they should show their appreciation for all of the good people do to make their lives and the world a better place. Whether it’s by a simple “thank you” to a coach or mentor, or by doing one of the following to recognize parent volunteers:
- Thank You Sign – Take a photo of your child (or the class or team) holding a large “Thank You!” sign and text it to parent volunteers or post it on their Facebook wall.
- Video Shout – Apps like Tout and Viddy let you take a short (15 to 30 second) video (think kids shouting “Thank You”) and post to email or social channels with a click.
- Treats – A small latte, muffin, or chocolate bar with a handwritten note of appreciation can go a long way. Let these special parents know how much you appreciate their time and talents shared with your kids.
These small tributes will show the parent volunteers in your life how much you appreciate their help throughout the year and also inspire them to continue their good deeds. For more ideas like these, check out the free eBook Volunteer Recognition From A-Z and help make this National Volunteer Week a great one for everyone.
VolunteerSpot is proud to save parents, teachers, and volunteer leaders hundreds of hours by simplifying the task of signing up, scheduling, and reminding volunteers – reducing your busy work and leaving you more time to focus on what’s important. Use VolunteerSpot to coordinate all the good work you do at school, teams, faith groups, nonprofits, and in the workplace! Take a tour today.
Image: Volunteering Hands via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
Encourage your child’s giving spirit for #GivingTuesday, “a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season.” The first-time campaign launches today (as an antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday) and hopes to spread a “great tradition of generosity.”
Visit GivingTuesday.org to learn more about the campaign and read about various non-profit organizations. You can also consider the child- and family-focused foundations below that various editors have mentioned before on Goodyblog.
Reading Is Fundamental – brings free books and literacy resources to children across the U.S.
WhyHunger - gives access to healthy, affordable food to impoverished communities in the world
Soles4Souls – collects new and gently-used shoes to people in over 125 countries
88bikes – provides new bicycles to children, in particular girls rescued from human trafficking, in Africa and Asia
Pencils of Promise – builds schools and encourages education in Africa, Asia, and South America
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88bikes, american red cross, charities, charity, donating, donations, giving tuesday, givingtuesday, nonprofit, pencils of promise, reading is fundamental, Soles4Souls, WhyHunger | Categories:
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Lemon juice? Check! Sugar? Check! Ice cubes? You bet! It’s that time of the year when kids across the country open lemonade stands on their block. But this summer, you can teach your child about entrepreneurship AND charity with the Toy Industry Foundation’s newest initiative, Make a Stand for Kids.
With the help of parents, children can volunteer to use profits from lemonade stands to help distribute toys and make playtime possible for disadvantaged kids. To get you started, TIF has created MakeStandForKids.org, a site packed with tips for fundraising, stand set-up, downloadable signs, and even recipes for other drinks (like orange and apricot punch). For more information on the program and how to take part, visit the site by clicking here.
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Monday, December 19th, 2011
For the person on your list who already has everything, why not give them a gift that gives back by donating to a charity on their behalf. Here are a few we love.
88Bikes donates bicycles to children around the world who face hardships such as poverty and war. For $88, you can donate a bike in a friend’s name and make a child immeasurably happy. Read our story on the organization to find out just how huge of an impact a bike can have on a child’s life.
DonorsChoose.org lets you give to classrooms in need, to help make sure that kids have the essentials they need to learn and teachers have the tools required for teaching.
Share Our Strength aims to end childhood hunger in American by 2015. Your contribution will help ensure that families have access to food that’s healthy and affordable. And if you give by December 31, your tax-deductible gift will be matched, dollar for dollar.
What’s your favorite organization or charity to give to?
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Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
Julianne Moore’s red hair and freckles are a source of envy these days, but, as a child, they earned her the unwelcome nickname Freckleface Strawberry. She admits, “It’s not mean, but I felt teased by it. I was living in an area in the Midwest where there were very few people who had the kind of freckles I had.” She channeled that feeling of being different into her children’s books, Freckleface Strawberry, Freckleface Strawberry: Best Friends Forever, and Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully: A Freckleface Strawberry Story. “I want my readers to see themselves in the stories,” says Moore. “Sometimes there are things about ourselves that we don’t like.” The series has now been turned into a musical, which she says has “a real message of acceptance and tolerance.”
Moore attended a special benefit performance this weekend where she lent her support for the charity Save the Children. “Not every child gets an equal chance,” she says. “When I started with Save the Children five years ago, one in five children was living in poverty in the United States. Now, with the recession, it’s one in four.” The charity serves children and families in more than 120 nations, helping them to access education and health care.
Photo: BRUCE GLIKAS/FILMMAGIC.COM
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Sunday, October 9th, 2011
This sweepstakes is now closed. Congratulations to Stacey S. of Florida for winning the Xbox 360 Console + Kinect!
Who says video games aren’t good for you? The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the largest children’s hospital charity, will be hosting its annual 24-hour video game fundraising marathon, called Extra Life, on Saturday, October 15. The marathon is in honor of the late Victoria (Tori) Enmon, a 15-year-old girl who played video games during her battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
In honor of this fundraising event that carries on Tori’s legacy, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has offered to give away one Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect to a lucky Parents.com reader. The prize package is valued at $299.99 and includes: built-in wi-fi, a black wireless controller, a standard definition composite A/V cable, a Kinect Sensor, the Kinect Adventures game, and a free one-month Xbox LIVE Gold Membership.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to support 170 children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada for research, training, equipment, and other healthcare issues related to children. Participants can get involved in the marathon (or make donations) by registering on Extra-Life.org. Even if your family doesn’t play video games, mobile games and board games are also encouraged.
Xbox 360 also hosted a Gaming and Giving for Good (G3) Xbox LIVE charity event earlier this month on Saturday, October 1, to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. 9,600 individuals participated, including celebrities such as actress Eva Longoria (“Desperate Housewives”) and professional sports players such as Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Andrew Bynum (LA Lakers), and Shawn Marrion (Dallas Mavericks).
To win the Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect, share a favorite family memory involving video, mobile, or board games in our Comments section below. One winner will be chosen randomly to win this sweepstakes giveaway, which runs from Monday, October 10 to Saturday, October 15. Please click here to read the full sweepstakes rules.
More About Video Games on Parents.com
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Monday, September 12th, 2011
I recently had the chance to sit down with singer and actor Harry Connick, Jr. and his 13-year-old daughter Kate to talk about their partnership with American Girl as well as Harry’s parenting experience. American Girl’s newest dolls, Cécile and Marie-Grace, are from New Orleans circa 1853. Despite their different appearances and backgrounds, the girls become best friends. To accompany the release of the dolls, Harry wrote a song about friendship, “A Lot Like Me,” and Kate recorded it. All proceeds from downloads of the song benefit the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a performance space and center for music education in New Orleans.
How did you become involved in this partnership with American Girl?
Harry: American Girl was interested in two New Orleans–themed dolls, and I’m from New Orleans, so they wanted to see what I had to offer. We thought it would be cool to have Kate be a part of it too. We like working together anyway, so I couldn’t think of anybody better to sing a song that I wrote. Kate truly lives the message of, ‘It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, it’s all about what’s on the inside.’
The song is aimed at young girls. What was it like to write for a younger audience?
Harry: It’s just a matter of writing what feels best for me. I read the stories and thought they were great. The message was so clear, it wasn’t difficult to come up with a way to try to express that with a piece of music.
What do you hope girls take away from this song?
Kate: I hope they learn, as my dad said, that it’s what’s on the inside, not on the outside [that matters]. I’ve been able to travel the world and see the different backgrounds that people come from and the different religions that they follow. I’ve realized that it’s not about what they look like.
What’s important in your friendships? What do you look for in your friends?
Kate: I look for trust, loyalty, and kindness. I think if you have those three things then you have something special.
You two share an interest in music. Do you plan to collaborate in the future?
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Harry: I hope we get to do something again. My life is spontaneous and things just kind of happen. I look forward to years and years of working with Kate in different capacities. (more…)
American Girl, American Girl dolls, celeb interview, celebrity interview, charity, fatherhood, Harry Connick Jr., interview, interviews, Kate Connick, New Orleans, parenting, volunteer | Categories:
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
In this dire economy, even the Tooth Fairy is pinching pennies
Getting the Tooth Fairy to pony up in this sagging economy has been like pulling teeth.
Missouri law bans some teacher-student contact on Facebook, other sites
A new law in Missouri that makes it illegal for teachers to privately contact current or former students on Facebook and other social networking sites is not a friend of education, teaching professionals told CNN on Monday.
9-year-old’s memory inspires thousands of charity donations
The 9-year-old who died shortly after trying to raise $300 for 15 people in need has posthumously surpassed her goal thousands of times over.
Parents are feeding babies too much salt: study
Processed foods like bread, gravy, baked beans, cow’s milk and canned spaghetti are contributing to a salt epidemic of mini proportions — namely among eight-month-old babies.
Facebook Lets Expectant Parents Add Their Unborn Child to Friends & Family
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Expectant parents can announce the good news to their Facebook friends via a brand new Facebook family member status option.