making a difference as a family

Kids Talk Justice

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The kids took their 1st night bags for Hope Pkgs very seriously! My favorite part of this playgroup was how so many kids wanted to take time to show me everything they chose for their bags. Their items were carefully chosen and packed. They understood how special the items inside would be for kids in foster care.

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We celebrated kids with bubbles, glitter play dough and we made fabric heart bookmarks to remember to pray for kids in foster care. After we read On the Night You Were Born, the kids also had some parachute and sidewalk chalk fun!

HPBlog3Learn more about the work of Hope Pkgs at their website. Lisa Hoeve and her team are doing amazing work and gaining more and more traction everyday to support kids, organizations and families within the foster care system. You can also follow Hope Pkgs on Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t forget our last summer playgroup coming Monday Evening, August 8 from 6:30- 7:30 pm at Kollen Park. We are going to celebrate the world coming together for the Olympics with three local service projects. We will be supporting Holland Rescue Mission with clothing donations, decorating lunch bags for Kids Food Basket, and donating dollars to The Flint Water Fund. There will also be an epic Olympic obstacle course!

One Hen

if the world were a village collage

Last Tuesday evening, we held our first summer service play group! We were able to gather about 100 welcome kits for Holland Rescue Mission. We had super intelligent kids during the story If the World Were a Village, great helpers, and sweet families making a difference together. Wetfeet ACTS shared beautiful artwork about the book.

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I’m so thankful to everyone for taking time from a busy summer evening to give back to our community. It made my heart so happy. Also, I am so thankful to everyone who helped and offered encouragement, projects like this take a village, just like we learned in the book!

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I’m so excited for this week’s group, around the story One Hen.

Tuesday June 23: One Hen
6:00 PM at Kollen Park! (We are on the east side of the public bathrooms)

One Hen is the story of Kojo and the one hen that changed the future of an entire village. Join in on the egg and spoon relay race, farm animal puppets, sidewalk chalk, sack races, world volleyball, soccer, and bubbles.

We will be supporting Community Action House. Here are the items they shared with us that are high need. Items they continually run low or completely out of. Please bring an item or more if you are able!

Laundry Soap
Dish Soap
Bar Soap
Multipurpose Cleaners
Toilet Paper
Shampoo and Conditioner
Feminine Hygiene Items

We are so excited to see you!

#TalkJustice: Creation Care

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Kids #TalkJustice Creation Care

Recycling, using energy efficient light bulbs, saving endangered species. Kids are pretty good at protecting the environment. How can our families dig deeper, see the big picture of caring for God’s creation, and strengthen our impact? It is important for our kids to know our consumption habits effect the world around us. The environment is a facet of our lives that really connects us globally to the rest of the world. We have a responsibility to care for what God created.

Creation Care Discussion Starters:

creation care conversation starters

Help your family go deeper: 

  • Could you add a new habit each month this year?
  • What about the drought in California? How could we be proactive even if we don’t live there?
  • If we don’t care for the environment now, how might that effect our future?
  • Could your habits effect someone in China?
  • How can we reuse things?
  • What things do we buy local? Is there anything we could add?
  • Do our efforts make a difference? How could we share what we do to help others contribute too?
  • Does our church have any green habits? Could we begin any?
  • Does our school have any green habits? Could we begin any?
  • Are there any local projects we could get involved in?
  • Do we support our local farmer’s market?
  • Are there any global projects that protect the environment we can be involved in?

Kids Books about Creation Care:

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The Curious Garden, Compost Stew, Curious George Plants a Tree, Michael Recycle, The Magic School Bus Climate Challenge, Fancy Nancy Earth Day is Everyday, Biscuits Earth Day Celebration, and Gabby and Grandma Go Green.  

 

 

 

19 Ways to take Action: 

 

A creation care twitter list to follow.

Follow our About Proximity #TalkJustice Pinterest Board.

#TalkJustice Summer Serve Play Groups! Come over to our Facebook Event Page to learn more. Invite friends! We will be exploring topics and making a difference in community, using a series of books donated to us from CitizenKid. Hosted by About Proximity (that’s me) and my Mom, a public school family advocate for two decades.

What is your family’s best green tip? We’d love to hear about it! 

 

 

 

#TalkJustice: Education Access

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Whenever we talk to our kids about justice issues we can be positive, because there are so many ways we can help! Even though the topics can be heavy, we can make a difference, and that’s something to be excited about.

In the United States we have many options for education. Even here, not every opportunity is equal, nor every school district. Globally this is even truer. Many students, especially girls will never have the opportunity to attend school and better their lives. Opening up kids worldview of school is a great place to start. Once they understand that education is a gift that others don’t have so easily, families can begin making a difference beginning in their own schools and expanding locally and globally.

Equal Access to Education Discussion Starters:

#TalkJustice Education Conversation

Help your family go deeper:

  • What factors make acquiring education difficult for kids?
  • Child labor- some kids need to support their family instead of going to school
  • Access- some kids lack transportation or a close school to attend
  • Money- some areas lack resources to have school supplies, teachers, or safe buildings
  • Disabilities- some schools do not have resources to help students with disabilities
  • Gender- poverty forces some families to choose who to educate and they choose boys before girls (so girls can work, do chores, or watch siblings.)
  • Violence- war or conflict keep some kids at home instead of attending school safely
  • Hunger- can make learning difficult for students
  • Immigration- language and cultural assimilation can create challenges to learning
  • Are their schools in our area that have less than others?
  • After thinking about barriers, how do you feel about receiving free education through twelve grade?


education1Kids Books About Equal Education Opportunities

Read more about this selection of kids book here. 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Ways to Take Action!

An Access to Education Twitter List to Follow.

Follow our About Proximity #TalkJustice Pinterest Board.

#TalkJustice Summer Serve Play Groups! Come over to our Facebook Event Page to learn more. Invite friends! We will be exploring topics and making a difference in community, using a series of books donated to us from CitizenKid. Hosted by About Proximity (that’s me) and my Mom, a public school family advocate for two decades.

What have been your insights into equality and access in education? 

100 Ways to Give Back over Summer Break.

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1. Summer Reading to Make a Difference: 5 Ideas.

2. Read The Lorax and Plant a Tree.

3. Gather up your loose change all summer and pick something from a gift catalog to give.

4. Be inspired at amybosma.com. Her son Daniel is raising money to buy a clean water well.

5. Finish up an afternoon of sprinkler with some WaterAid Kids Activities!

6. Prepare ahead of time to complete an Operation Christmas Child Box.

7. Free Printable Activities from Heifer International for kids.

8.  Ideas to care for families with disabilities.

9. Explore Citizen Kid Global: a website that help young minds learn about the greater global world.

10. Fill a sports shoe box through Sports Gift.

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11. Watch The Good Bird’s Club a special Sesame Street Video about bully prevention.

12. Help the kids in your life become comfortable writing their stories! Check out my Student Speak Pinterest Board.

13. Deliver a surprise to someone in need of a pick-me up. Need ideas? Gifts to Give on Pinterest.

14. For the crafty check out all of Leslie’s at Pink Stripey Socks DIY’s!

15. Head over to Operation World and choose a country to pray for together.

16. Keep clipping those Box Tops for when you return to school in the fall!

17. Become a Free a Family sponsor through World Renew.

18. For all those who can wield needles download a free pattern for Knit for Kids from World Vision.

19. Read digital editions of Quest for Compassion and Explorer for kids from Compassion International.

20. Read Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand (digital video)  about fighting childhood cancer.

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21. Read this beautiful photo journey of Children’s Human Rights through UNICEF. (Great for the whole family)

22. Got Teens? Check out DoSomething.org. Participate in the Peanut Butter and Jam Slam this summer!

23. Walk, Run or Bike with your whole family with the free Charity Miles app!  Exercise for a cause of your choice!

24. Support a family’s micro loan through Kiva!

25. Give through Feeding America’s On-line Gift Catalog.

26. Sign up for Milkshake, a daily email with ideas to give back.

27. Take the GROW METHOD challenge with your family this summer from OxFam.

28. Try a new recipe with the kids from the GROW METHOD cookbook.

29. Take the Can You Imagine Quiz through Ryan’s Well about what it might be like without clean water.

30. Try out a Half the Sky Movement mobile game app.

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31. Do you use Diaper.com? You can refer a friend and support Shot@Life, providing vaccines to children.

32. Consider bringing TerraCyle to your school. Recycle and earn education money for your school.

33. Host a School Tools Event hands-on service through World Vision for education.

34. Host a Journey to Jamaa Movie Party through World Vision. Connecting Children who Care with People in Need.

35. Send a Wounded Warrior a thank you note through facebook.

36. Use free Girl Rising Curriculum to educate your girl about courageous needs of global friends.

37. Recycle those old running shoes with Reuse-a-Shoe by Nike.

38. Donate your old eyeglasses and sunglasses through Lions Club International.

39. Doing some home improvement donate your home supplies or purchase at Habitat for Humanity Restore.

40. Old Cell Phones? Try these options.

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41. Play some Recycle City at the Environmental Protection Agency.

42. Watch these fun digital shorts at the Story of Stuff, great to teach kids about waste and recycling!

43. Download a free curriculum for faith-based teens about a Spirit-filled Response to a Consumed Crazed World.

44. Explore how your family can incorporate fair trade purchases into your household.

45. Submit your story to CausePub and support Blood Water Mission.

46. Download a toolkit from UNICEF with 20 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking.

47. Download Live58: free ebook about how to live generously in 2013.

48. Watch these videos about clean water from WaterAid family appropriate.

49. The Adventures of Super Toilet from WaterAid. What kid wouldn’t read that on-line comic book?

50. Download this flyer for expectant Mom’s to make sure they get a PulseOx Screening for new babies.

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51. Make sidewalk chalk messages that encourage!

52. Deliver an ice cream treat to a shut-in or someone that has been feeling under the weather.

53. Surprise someone with a full car wash. Kids love to help with this, any excuse to get wet!

54. Remember your local food pantry. Many kids get the majority of their meals from school and when school’s out they experience food insecurity.

55. Use Goodsearch a penny is donated to your cause or school with each search.

56. Goodsurvery’s donates a dollar to your cause for each survey you take.

57. Are you a computer or facebook gamer? Try Goodgaming for every three times you play a penny is donated to your cause.

58. Try one of these 134 acts of kindness from Anna at And Then We Saved.

59. Save your pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

60. Check out this great list of items to donate such as toys and games to your closest Ronald McDonald House.

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61. Three places to send a get well soon card to a child that is receiving long-term hospital care.

62. A summer hair cut? Try Locks of Love.

63. 100 tips to conserve water this summer!

64. Try some of the challenges in the book Clean House about youth entitlement.

65. Walk or use your bikes in the nice weather whenever possible. Bench that car! Shut off car pool!

66. Directions on how to make an infant care kit through the Mennonite Central Committee to be used in refugee camps.

67. Adopt a Classroom: Fund a project for a specific classroom.

68. Patterns to make blankets for children and babies through Project Linus.

69. Host or attend a block party for your neighborhood.

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70. Do you know a young person serving at a summer camp? Send a care package.

71. Send pictures and letters to friends and family that live far away.

72. Do you know someone going through a difficult time? Step them up through Take Them a Meal.

73. Watch the video the Power of Ten. Plant trees and employ others through the Eden Foundation.

74. Giving through your coupon skills by moneysavingmom.com

75. Speak up for what you believe in. Our combined voices are powerful.

76. Shut off social media for extended times during the day to be present with your kids.

78. Awesome ideas from the ever gracious Amy Sullivan.

79. Shop with purpose visit pinterest boards from about proximity and Amy Sullivan.

78. Kaboom Playground active body activities.

79. Kaboom Playground active together projects.

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80. Kaboom Playground active mind projects.

81. Follow the non-profits you support on twitter, facebook and pinterest.

82. Donated your gently used coats through One Warm Coat.

83. Ideas for earning service learning credits through The Humane Society.

84. Support survivor care of victims of human trafficking through Love 146.

85. Become a church ambassador for Exodus Road.

86. Use social media for good. Learn more at Social Good Moms.

87. Teach your kids about hospitality by having friends over.

88. Support your local library by participating in their summer reading program.

89. Free lessons for kids about gardening and the environment.

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90. Do you have a history lover? The National Park Service has an enormous list of ideas for service learning projects.

91. 55 Service Learning ideas from Youth Service America with links.

92. Check out Learning to Give a curriculum division of Generation On compatible with Common Core Standards.

93. Family Service Ideas from Generation On!

94. 65 ways to get started through Generation On!

95. Resource Database of Service Learning and Community Involvement from the New York Times.

96. Check out Faces Magazine from your library ages 9-14.

97. Teaching Tolerance Magazine is free to educators and youth directors.

98. Book list for Anti-Bullying and Conflict Resolution.

99. Spend time together.

100. Take time to do nothing at all 🙂

 

I’ d love to hear what you tried off this list. Guest post? I love your voice.