How are you helping children in need?

Brittany - posted on 09/26/2011 ( 57 moms have responded )

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In a pervious post I made someone brought up that we should discuss the starving children of the world, missing children, abused children and what we all can do to help them.

Seeing as how October, the offical month of Anti-Bullying, is coming up I thought this may be a good time to talk about this.

So, Ladies, what are you all doing to help children in need? How do you teach your children about those with less? Has anyone talked to their kills about the fact that 1 in every 3 children in America does not have food?

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[deleted account]

My family is involved with the "Walk for the Homeless" every year--it happens to be this Sunday. Literally ANYONE can make this walk--you can run it, walk it, or ride it, and the cost is FREE. All you have to do is show up, and it is a very inspiring walk to raise awareness (and $$) for the homeless and programs that help them. We walk through our town's poorest areas, the industrial sect where many of the homeless live (and where I lived as a child) and make the same trek that these people make when they are seeking assistance.

Donations are accepted in the form of monetary donations or shelter supplies, like shampoo, non-perishable foods, old clothes, shoes, even old news papers and magazines are helpful as they can be recycled. Almost anyone can help.

As many of you know, my family was homeless from the time I was 4 until I was 13, and I would be homeless again from 17 to 20 yrs old. It is HARD. Not all homeless people are irresponsible jerks. Many, like my father, struggle with addiction, and many more, many struggle with mental illness, or, like me, give up having a place to sleep to pay tuition and medical bills. It is easy to point the finger and say, "Well you could get a job" but try getting a job in this economy with no phone for a company to call you back, no address, no transportation. Try getting a job when your schizophrenia is so severe from lack of treatment that you can't tell real from imagined. Sure, once they get a job, they can get back on their feet, but that is a very difficult first step.


.....Sorry, I'll get off my soap box now.

Mary - posted on 09/27/2011

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I always find it fascinating when threads about charitable giving get sidetracked with discussions about which causes or organizations are more worthy or deserving. I'm also a bit perplexed by that somewhat common attitude about "helping our own" before extending a hand elsewhere in the world. It's fine if your priority is local, or nation-specific, but that does not mean that *you* should fault others who choose to help people in other parts of the world. This is not a competition, and imho, it is never "wrong" to help another being in need, no matter where they live.

Charity is such a personal thing. We all have those causes that speak more deeply to our own hearts. Realistically, no one can support every worthy cause or need our there, so we each find the one that moves us most. For some, it is the local homeless, or the shelter for abused women and children. For others, it is that starving child in an African village. Giving to one cause does not equate to taking funds away from another. Chances are, you donate to one because you are moved to do so, but this does not mean that another worthy need would move you to give in the same way.

I can horrify you all by admitting that almost all of my charitable efforts and contributions are in support of animals, and not usually humans. During Hurricane Katrina, I, like many other Americans, was deeply disturbed by the horrific images that were haunting my TV. I specifically worked two additional 12 hour shifts, and donated the income from both nights to the Humane Society of the United States, to support their efforts is rescuing and caring for animals left stranded, injured, and homeless by the storm.

Perhaps some of you think that makes me a horrible person, because I was "more" moved by the plight of the animals than their human counterparts - that perhaps I should have given that money to relief efforts geared towards people instead of animals. Feel free to judge my efforts however you see fit. It didn't take anything away from those in need - it's just that the pictures and film of those frightened, emaciated dogs touched something deep in my core, and motivated me to get off of my ass and do something more than writing a small check to the Red Cross.

JL - posted on 09/27/2011

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Humanity at it's best.....seriously.....we're bickering about people wanting to support others in third world countries. Questioning people for wanting to help families in places where the reality is that a simple vaccine to prevent malaria can save millions of dying infants lives. A reality where water is a luxury and dying from dehydration is common. Are you kidding me? I can understand your preferring to help out closer to home first but to compare the need in America and other rich countries to the needs in third world countries is absurd.

[deleted account]

I think it's great that you want to help out fellow Americans so much. Just remember though, that in America, even the poor are rich compared to most of the world. Not trying to dissuade you from what you are doing, because kids here do need help...just adding another perspective. :)

Becky - posted on 09/27/2011

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BTW, I think the rise of pertussis is due to people choosing not to vaccinate, not because people can't afford to. Pampers can't force those who are anti-vaccine to vaccinate!

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[deleted account]

Sad thing is health care would end up being a large % of our taxes. Gotta line those pockets.

I am done here. This thread has been hijacked enough.

[deleted account]

The rise in pertussis is not due to not vaccinating, it is due to not vaccinating enough. The pertussis vaccine wanes after 5-10 years and most people don't relize this. I am sure pampers could help in some way with that.



I am well aware that not all third world countries harbor terrorists.

Charlie - posted on 09/27/2011

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I agree with Becky no child should have to suffer because of a few bad apples.

And increases in preventable disease are on the rise here too in towns where vaccination is at an all time low, coincedence ? I dont think so, just another example of western society taking what we have for granted.

I cannot begin to imagine your healthcare system from I know from COM it sounds disgraceful, I live in a country where everyone has the right to universal health care, It blows my mind that America the "leaders of the free world" does not have UHC, it seems to me this is a government issue and at its core an issue amongst some of the nation who do not consider UHC important enough to spare a small % of their taxes to help their own.

Becky - posted on 09/27/2011

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Well, I understand being reluctant to support anything in Pakistan after recent events, but I still don't think the children deserve to suffer for it.

Becky - posted on 09/27/2011

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Not all third world countries harbour terrorists and even in those that do, I don't see why children should have to suffer for it. They are not to blame. They don't deserve to have a significantly reduced life-expectancy and 1 in 4 chance of dying before the age of 5 simply because they had the misfortune to be born into a third-world country. There, the health care is not a matter of cost, it's a matter of whether there is any and how many days walk from your village it is.
We take for granted how lucky we are to live where we do.

[deleted account]

"This, however was just rude. I never said you were wrong. I never belittled you. I said I thought it was sad. It was my opinion on the subject. If you take such offense to my opinion then...well...I guess that's your problem."



I was just speaking my mind out of frustration. I find it extremely frustrating posting in here. We all have opinions. I feel that when I and others share our opinions and they are not in the same realm as most, the replys can be quite condesending.



"Here in Canada, we have top-notch, free healthcare. All of our children have access to free vaccinations against preventable diseases. Very few children here will die of measles or meningitis and probably none will die of or be crippled by polio. (anymore) The reality in 3rd world countries is very, very different. So, while I can understand that people may only be able to give to one or 2 causes and they have to choose the ones that are closest to their hearts, I have a hard time understanding an attitude of "I won't buy Pampers because a percentage of their sales goes towards providing vaccinations to children in developing nations." "



Here in the US healthcare is outrageously expensive. With the economy the way it is right now, people's unemployment benifits running out, and welfare recipients taking a hit, most people are forgoing the trips to the doctors. They simply cannot afford a $200-$300 visit to the doctors. I would much rather see pampers help here in the US, especially with the rise of pertussis, than help a country that harbors terrorists.

Becky - posted on 09/27/2011

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And women in third world countries are often the worst off.
This is a new program in one of the countries my parents worked in - where I lived for a year as well - aimed at helping young women avoid early marriage and childbirth and to gain skills to support their families. I love the idea of this program and am going to talk to my husband about supporting it. My mom was just out for 6 weeks working with this school.

Charlie - posted on 09/27/2011

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You know individually we can't help everyone but if everyone gives a little to the charity of their choice be it money , clothes or food then everyone can at leats recieve a little help each.

To me I feel personally I must give on a triage type system, those most in need first ...although this year I am donating monthly to Australian abused and neglected children I have for the most part donated to third world countries because the horrors they face are of a magnitude many people can not imagine, no clean water , no food , babies with stomachs so bloated they look pregnant themselves , covered in flies because death always lingers in the air waiting for the next person to drop , fearing sleep because your village may be raided , you friends killed , tourtured , your family raped and the very real possibility you are forced to kill your own family before you are stolen , forced to inject drugs into your system and have a gun shoved in your hand to help them people who destroyed your life raid another village ....most likely all at the age of 10.

Like someone else said compared to third world countries our homeless live in luxury, I for one am thankful for those who support them, the charities and people involved with making local lives better but personally I feel my time and money needs to be where the need is greatest ( one reason I chose Australian childhood fund is because of the lack of support to get children out of violent homes and the lack of support for foster parents to take children on full time)

Brittany - posted on 09/27/2011

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One thing, Please do not call out anyone by name. I am looking for some good ideas, positive conversation and what we do to reach out.
_________________________________________________
Kate, I apologize if someone called you out and or made you feel unwelcome or as if your opinion did not matter. I have enjoyed reading your posts and hope that you continue to post on this topic.
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Marina, you had mentioned about heading up some things at the schools. At the credit union I use, Alabama Credit Union, they have a program called Secret Meals. What they do is collect donations that help provide food for children in the county the Credit Union is located in. I believe it takes $12.00 to cover one day of food. I got into contact with the supervisor of the area. Foley Elementary will be holding a Dinner and Movie night with 100% of the proceeds going to this program. I also am working with her to setup a fundraiser for the Kindergarten class. Foley has 12 Kindergarten classes. I told them what I would like to do is have the kids setup a little "competition" whichever classes collect $200.00 for the meals program I will personally bake them homemade cupcakes. Of course this is a reachable goal for all classes and I may end up baking a lot of cupcakes but, it will be SO worth it!! If each class can get $200.00 that will be $2400 and it will feed 200 children in need!

Becky - posted on 09/27/2011

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I do agree that most foreign government aid probably does not actually reach the people it is intended to reach. I still think it's good for foreign relations though. We give our money and support to reputable organizations that we (I or my family) have personally seen in action like World Vision and Samaritan's Purse, or to projects run by individual missionaries whom we know personally. This way, we know that our money is going directly to the people we are wanting to support. My parents were missionaries for the majority of my life and still go back on short-term trips almost yearly. I really wanted to go with them this year, but then I got pregnant. Sigh. Anyway, we support those trips and will send clothing and other necessities over to our friends there when we can.

Also, it was late last night and I may have come across too harshly. I realize that none of us can help everyone and we all have to choose the causes that are closest to our hearts. We donate to our local Children's hospital because we've had to use it and realize we may have to in the future. We don't donate to say, MS research, because it hasn't touched us personally. That's not to say I don't feel it's important, but like others said, you can't give to everything. So I wasn't trying to critisize individual's decisions on where to give their time and resources. If you only donate to local charities or medical charities or animal charities, or whatever, that is fine. At least you are doing something. What I was attacking was the attitude that I picked up (maybe wrongly) in a couple of posts, and that I have heard from others not on this board, that we should only focus on "our own" and forget about those in other countries. Let them help themselves. Because the sad reality is, in many cases, they can't. Here in Canada, we have top-notch, free healthcare. All of our children have access to free vaccinations against preventable diseases. Very few children here will die of measles or meningitis and probably none will die of or be crippled by polio. (anymore) The reality in 3rd world countries is very, very different. So, while I can understand that people may only be able to give to one or 2 causes and they have to choose the ones that are closest to their hearts, I have a hard time understanding an attitude of "I won't buy Pampers because a percentage of their sales goes towards providing vaccinations to children in developing nations."

[deleted account]

Heather, that is a fabulous idea. I would also recommend holding a job fair at the shelter that is open to everyone. That way, the homeless have access to it, but those who are on the brink of homelessness also have access (they are often at the shelters seeking assistance as well--you don't have to be homeless to get help!).



If we can stop a person from loosing their home in the first place, it is much, much easier (and less expensive) to get them back on their feet than it is after they've lost everything. If we only help the already homeless, we are running in place, but if we work to *prevent* homelessness as well, we can have more resources available to help the homeless who are not fit to work yet fight their illnesses, learn to read, or do whatever else they need to do to become productive workers and get themselves into a home.



Not trying to shoot down your idea at all--it truly is a wonderful idea--just wanted to expand on it :)

[deleted account]

Also, in response to Heather and Kate, there are charities that ensure money and food make it to the right people. I wouldn't give blindly to any charity that asks, for that reason. With World Vision, we receive letters and updates from our kids and workers in their communities several times a year. I suppose it's possible that it *could* be a scam, but I highly doubt it. It's not like we send the money and never hear from the organization or the kids ever again.

[deleted account]

In response to Mary donating to animal charities...I can say that helping the animals in turn helped the people of Katrina. A huge animal shelter was set up at LSU where I was a student at the time (as well as a morgue in our gym and a medical shelter in our basketball arena). When people were reunited with their beloved pets it brought back a semblance of normalcy to their lives.

Kate CP - posted on 09/27/2011

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"Sad?! You know what's sad. Our gov't helping all these other countries out before helping our own. Sad that people are still displaced from hurricane Katrina. Sad that our gov't sends tons of food to third world countries and the gov't of those countries keeps the food for themselves and their cronies. I really feel most of what is donated to those other countries doesn't even make it to the people who really need it. THat's sad. Sad to think that huh?

I would help those people but most times it is a waste money and food as they don't even get it.

The only way i can see to truly help these people in other countries is to become a missionary. Go and see them, meet with them, and help them rebuild their lives hands on.

I love to help others, but I feel the best when I see where it is going..."

This portion of your reply would have sufficed to shut me up. It was actually rather enlightening and I appreciate the feedback. I'm not being sarcastic or rude here, I'm being genuine. I can understand your position now and I actually kind of agree.

"...Another thing that is sad is thet every time I post in here, KATE yes you Kate Capehart always like to belittle people who feel the opposite way you do. This is a debate forum. Not a "my opinion is right therefor you are wrong" forum."

This, however was just rude. I never said you were wrong. I never belittled you. I said I thought it was sad. It was my opinion on the subject. If you take such offense to my opinion then...well...I guess that's your problem.

Mary - posted on 09/27/2011

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Oh - I wanted to add (in response to the OP), that to me, the best way to teach a child about helping others is lead by example. Like Becky, I sort of find that "Eat your dinner, there are children starving in _____" sort of pointless. I too, used to reply that it was more than fine if my mom wanted to ship my dinner to Ethiopia!

My daughter is only two, so really, she doesn't get any of that stuff anyway. However, I do take her with me almost weekly to our local Humane Society. We always buy an extra bag of dog food when we get it for our dogs, or an extra chew toy, dish soap, etc to drop off. She might not completely "get it", but she can tell you we are taking presents to the "puppies who don't have a mommy", or walking a "puppy who needs a home like Charlie and Sammy have". If nothing else, she knows that a part of our weekly routine is going to help the "puppies at the 'Mane Sciety'.

Krista - posted on 09/27/2011

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As some of you know I work for a defense contractor and we will be having a huge hiring boom here in the next few months. I would like to propose they go to the homeless shelters and hire these people and work with the state to have public transportation bring them to and from work.

That's a great idea, Heather! You should absolutely propose that and should advocate for it as hard as you can. There are people in those shelters who are absolutely qualified to work. But like Kelly said, it's damn hard to get a job when on your resume, under your name, it says "No fixed address". If your company could hire some of these folks and help get them experience and enough money to get their own places...man, what a difference it could make!

[deleted account]

Kelly really all I can say is wow. You truly are an inspiration.

After reading your post I will share what I would like to propose the the company I work for. With the economy so bad, here in RI many skilled professionals have lost their jobs, had0their unemployment run out, and have their homes foreclosed on. They now live in one of the few homeless shelters this state has to offer. As some of you know I work for a defense contractor and we will be having a huge hiring boom here in the next few months. I would like to propose they go to the homeless shelters and hire these people and work with the state to have public transportation bring them to and from work.

Sarah - posted on 09/27/2011

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I think Mary is right when she says different causes speak to different people. When I have regularly given donations, it's either been to a premature babies charity, a help the aged type charity, or Women's Aid (as my friend works there!)

I, for example, wouldn't give money to an animal charity.....I'm not an animal type of person.

I do give for things such a Comic Relief, where some of the money goes to Africa and some stays in the UK.

I think giving to charity is great, whichever charity people choose to give to, we can't support them all!

My eldest knows about giving to charity, her school do various charity raising events and stuff, she's watched some Comic Relief with me and we talked about the kids in Africa. I think it's important to teach kids to reach out to those who need help..........wherever they may be.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/27/2011

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WOW Kelly, I had no idea about your history. I am so sorry your family had such a rough time.

Erin - posted on 09/27/2011

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** Mod Warning **

Please don't call other members out by name with the sole purpose of instigating an off topic argument. If you have a personal issue with another member, contact them by PM and keep it off the board.

Erin - DM Mod

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/27/2011

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I am hopefully going to e head of charities in my sons school. I have a lot of great ideas to help out people in our community. It is a place that needs help for sure. I am thinking about putting together a soup kitchen in the school for thanksgiving. I know some of the local grocery stores will donate some money...but not much...anywhere from 25 to 100 dollars. That can be spread out, but will not feed an entire community in need. I would love to hear any suggestions from people that have worked in a soup kitchen??? I am going to contact the local food bank....I do know they will donate food also.

I am all for any charity that you can do. In the US or anywhere in the world....to save children, hungry, homeless, animals, rain forest....whatever your plight, good job helping out. Charity comes from the heart, and we do what we can.

[deleted account]

unicef is not actually the best organization to donate to. tey limit which countries do receive. besides that they keep a large protion of donations for operating costs. more so than other organizations. I did a fundraiser at a school i worked at overseas and after further research I was sissapointed to know that their operating costs are far greater than other organizations.

heather knowing how caring you are and what you do for your community is inspiring. sure I agree other countries need our help. but you like to know that your donations and goodwll are going directly intot he hands of those that need them. I see nothing wrong with that. what I do see wrong is that there are so many people who think only of themselves and their immediates. and do NOTHING to help others in need at all.

and yeah, those boxes on street corners are a farce here in toronto as well. as are the companies that call your house and say we are going to be in your area collecting for...they actually pay the organizations to use heir name. the clothing does NOT go to the organizations. there are few that can truly be trusted and are clear on where it really is going. so keep on giving to where you're giving. at least you know it goes to those directly that need it. kudos.

Amy - posted on 09/27/2011

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We have talked before about food and every so often it seems we're lucky to have an overstock of food we take it to a food pantry where it goes to local people who are in need.

Growing up we did send money to a little boy in the dominican republic. It was through our church. our missionaries met him and it was only five or ten bucks a month, but it was enough to clothe him/feed his family. He wrote us letters adn someone translated them at teh church and we wrote back. was an awesome experience. But yeah, just sending to some company - you don't know how it's being used, why, or where. creepy thoughts.

For food, the pantry thing up there is all we really do. times are tough. Just are. We donate clothes. Used to take to goodwill, but now just donate them to a company that gives them out for free to people.

and..I know. Ronald McDonald house. I never knew what it was until my daughter had a hole in her heart. We wanted to be by her, but couldn't afford a hotel...voila. ronald mcdonald house to the rescue. what on earth would we have done without it? and such sweet, caring people running it and got to meet so many other parents who were just praying their children made it through the night. Even if I can't donate more than two bucks a month, I send it.

[deleted account]

I talk to my son. I keep the doors of communication wide open. As far as missing and abused children, I give as much as I can afford every year to the local battered women's shelter and the Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Stifler's - posted on 09/27/2011

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Oh and I donate all my clothes that are too small to Lifeline. I used to donate to every tom dick and harry foundation before I had kids. Now I can't afford it. We used to donate to doctors without borders aswell.

Stifler's - posted on 09/27/2011

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My kids are like nearly 2 and 4 months, they don't get it yet. But I can't see myself denying them the knowledge that they are blessed to have food and warm bed.

[deleted account]

Sad?! You know what's sad. Our gov't helping all these other countries out before helping our own. Sad that people are still displaced from hurricane Katrina. Sad that our gov't sends tons of food to third world countries and the gov't of those countries keeps the food for themselves and their cronies. I really feel most of what is donated to those other countries doesn't even make it to the people who really need it. THat's sad. Sad to think that huh?

I would help those people but most times it is a waste money and food as they don't even get it.

The only way i can see to truly help these people in other countries is to become a missionary. Go and see them, meet with them, and help them rebuild their lives hands on.

I love to help others, but I feel the best when I see where it is going.

Another thing that is sad is thet every time I post in here, KATE yes you Kate Capehart always like to belittle people who feel the opposite way you do. This is a debate forum. Not a "my opinion is right therefor you are wrong" forum.

Becky - posted on 09/27/2011

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I don't use the "starving kids" thing as a means to guilt my children into cleaning their plates. My parents used to do that until we started saying, "Well, send it to them then!" However, I do talk to my boys about children who have less than they have, children who don't have toys, who don't get to eat, etc. We don't dwell on it because they are still very young, but we talk about it. I had the unique privilege of growing up among the poorest of the poor, and I don't mean poor people in North America. I mean those people who live on less than $2.00 a week, who are lucky to get one meal of nothing but rice in a day, let alone 3 meals or any variety. Who do not have government social assistance to help them but have to rely on the kindness of those of us in western countries sometimes for their very survival. So frankly, I find the attitudes of those of you who say you will only help those in your own country heartless and disgusting. I'm not usually so blunt, but I do. We are very, very fortunate to have been born where we were and don't kid yourselves into thinking you did anything to deserve to have a warm, safe place to live, 3 meals a day, the opportunity to have your children get an education, and clothing that fits and is appropriate for the weather. It's just the luck of the draw, nothing more. To refuse to help those who had the misfortune to be born into countries where there are very few natural resources, constant droughts and famines, corrupt governments, are torn by wars and destroyed by natural disasters, is selfish and dispicable.

Okay, rant over. As for what we do, I have to admit that right now, it is more limited than I would like, partly due to our children still being very young and partly due to my husband being considerably less generous than I am. We have two children that we support through World Vision and we donate regularly to other development causes and missions projects that touch us and as we can afford to.
I volunteer with a grassroots charity that helps families in need in our city - baking for families who are in crisis, visiting with struggling new parents, donating items to families who are in poverty. The boys often come with me when I do this and I always explain to them what we're doing.
We do a Christmas hamper at Christmas. Starting this Christmas, we will also be having the boys pick out some toys to donate.
As the boys get older and more able to understand and participate, we will get involved in more volunteer opportunities as a family.
I also plan to foster, once the kids are all school aged. (Only waiting because I don't feel it would be fair to them or to the foster children to bring in special-needs children who need extra attention when my kids are still so young and need so much attention themselves.)

I still feel like I don't do enough, and maybe I'll always feel that way. I grew up in a place where life was the opposite of comfortable. I worked in children's services, with people whose lives were very uncomfortable. My life is very comfortable. We're not rich by any stretch of the imagination and some months we struggle, but I could have a tenth of what I have now and still be better off than the majority of the world. I try very hard not to ever forget that and take what we have for granted.

Kate CP - posted on 09/26/2011

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That's kind of sad that you'd only help out one type of person over another.

[deleted account]

Sherri I completely agree with you. That is why I won't buy pampers diapers and try not to but other products where some of the procedes go to others out side the US.

I always donate to organizations that help out our (US) people in need. clothes and shoes go to the Salvation Army and not one of those steel boxes on the side of the road. Those boxes of clothes get shipped outside the US.

I donate food to my local food bank and donate non perishable items for the Boy scouts drive.

This year for my twins second birthday party we are having it at Gymboree and inviting their toddler class to join us. In lieu of b-day gifts, I would like everyone to bring a gift for toys-for-tots

[deleted account]

Reading Joy's post reminded me of something. My husband works in a prison and my dad volunteers in one. At one point I volunteered in a youth prison (before I had kids). The whole family...aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents...create an assembly line to fill bags with shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. for prisoners. We do it on Thanksgiving after we eat.

[deleted account]

We help support two children in Africa through World Vision along with some other families. Eventually I'd like my family to support another child on our own. We also donate to well known, trusted charities when the opportunity arises. I love Angel Tree and Samaritan's Purse.

My dad brought me to the food bank to help stock shelves from a very young age. I'd like to include my daughters in an activity like this when they are a little older.

Brittany - posted on 09/26/2011

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@ Kate, we also do the Trick or Treat for Unicef. The kids like collecting the loose change in the couch!

Charlie - posted on 09/26/2011

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I donate every month to the Australian childhood foundation.

" For the past 20 years the Australian childhood Foundation has worked tirelessly to protect children's rights and to ensure their safety.We have implemented recognised programs that counsel and support children to recovery; help professionals who work with children to better support at risk children; raise awareness of the causes and consequences of abuse and what we can do as a community to help stop it before it starts; and help parents raise healthy and confident children."

Thats from their website http://www.childhood.org.au/HowWeHelp/

Last year I donated to amnesty international in the past I have been involved in petitioning governments to sign the protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict which was signed however will need monitering in Africa and several other countries who signed but have yet to make it legal by people like savechildsoldiers.com and amnesty international.

Child soldiers and the abused and neglected in our own country are something I am very passionate about.

http://www.helpchildsoldiers.com/
http://www.amnesty.org.au/

In time my children will know and they will know why , they will be given the choice to help if they wish with their pocket money, given my eldest shows great empathy already I wouldnt be surprised if he did want to get involved.

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I don't do too much about the starving kids, except donate to food banks a couple times a year when they have their drives. In terms of abused children, I am in school studying in a program that will allow me to work with kids/teens who are at high risk or have been abused. Right now I am also working at a group home for kids with brain-based disabilities (many people with mental health/intellectual/behavioral problems are abused by their caregivers). It's important to me that kids aren't abused and taken advantage of by others. I am also a member of Children's Mental Health Ontario

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We have a Compassion kid that lives in Peru.

Sometimes we donate to the Food Bank. Of course, the only food we buy is w/ food stamps, so I'm sure some might have a problem w/ that. ;)

My kids kind of ARE children in need, but I'm raising them... so that's my biggest contribution. ;)

Lady Heather - posted on 09/26/2011

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I guess I haven't gone too in depth with her being as she's only 2, but we do go and pick stuff out at the grocery store to give to other kids to eat and we've gone through and selected the stuffed animals she doesn't really need to give to kids who don't have any. Stuff like that. She's pretty generous and likes to share. Hopefully that sticks. We really need to do another toy purge before Christmas. I'm thinking we'll take some stuff to this local children's development place. They helped us out when Freja wasn't walking, but they mainly deal with very low income families and kids with disabilities and such.

I think the older the kids get, the more involved we'll get. And personally I'm looking forward to having school aged kids so I can do a bit of volunteering during the day. There are so many places around here that need help.

Rosie - posted on 09/26/2011

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we regularly donate to goodwill. we also have a thing around christmas called toys for tots. i donate a toy for a boy and a toy for a girl at that time. we also have a thing where the boy scouts put a bag on your door and come back a week later to get it, you fill it with non perishable food and it goes to the local food bank.

Sherri - posted on 09/26/2011

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We do donate all our used clothing to the Salvation Army. I refuse to help other countries until everyone in our own country is taken care of. If every well meaning person spent as much time and energy helping our own needy then we wouldn't have any which would allow us to help others. I believe the same goes for the gov't stop shelling out millions of dollars to help other countries but use that money and help our own. Once we achieve this then we can help anyone else who needs it.

JuLeah - posted on 09/26/2011

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My daughter has worked with me at food banks. I volunteer as a CASA and with the domestic violence unit ... she knows about this (my daughter does) and knows there are people in need.

She, without my help, set up a lemonaid stand with her friends. They raised enough money for one stray cat for be altered. They gave the money to the humain society.

She has done fund raising after earthquakes and such things .... I worry about this issue. I mean, I want her to know she is just one of billions on this planet and we have to help each other.

I think, hope, she is getting the message ...

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lol Brittany, that's as old as time! When I was a kid it was starving Ethiopians... when my dad was a kid it was starving Chinese. It's not harsh, but rather an unfortunate reality. Besides, life IS harsh and sometimes I think we may try to coddle our children from reality a little too much, which is really a bit of a disservice to them because what a shock it may be to them when they're older to learn about what's really going on.

Brittany - posted on 09/26/2011

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These are all very encouraging stories of how we help others!!

I am a child abuse advocate, I am working on training to teach a class about Anti-Bullying at a local school. I am also working with a State Rep to have some laws passed here in Alabama, and hopefully on a national level, to better protect our kids.

I do talk to my children (5,4,3) about the poverty level. Our family is FAR from being wealthy but, my husband and I are both full time students. That leaves me with a lot of "spare" (not really the word I want but, it will do) time. I volunteer when and where I can. Once a year we go through our clothes and toys. This is my kids fave part. They like to bag up the toys.

The reason I asked if you all tell your children about the other starving children here in the USA, your home country or other countries is because, I was having an issue with my children wasting food. They would not eat ceratin things or ask for more and then throw it away. I know kids will be kids. After talking to my children about other kids and explaing to them that someone they go to school with may not have food, it seemed to cease.

*As a side note I raise red wiggler worms so some. not all, of the wasted food got thrown away. I did use the veggies in compsoting for my worms to eat.

Do any of you think that it was a bit harsh of me to explain to my children that someone they know may not have food that night?

I also not always blame the parent for lack of caring. We all fall on hard times and I can promise you there have been days where I stressed about what bill I need to pay, when, and how bleak my pantry looked.

@Sherri, I apologize to hear about your brother's accident. (No offense intended here) I will send some positive prayers and energy your way for a speedy, safe recovery.

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Yeah, we give to the food bank too. Although, I'm not sure if it's the Food Bank, but a charity that distributes the food collected in the bins at shopping centres. Never gave that a thought, because it's so automatic now. The boys and I always buy a few extra things (non-perishable healthy food items) every time we do grocery shopping and put them in the food bins. I've been doing that ever since I first saw one, which would have been about 12 years ago now.

I understand not having enough money to donate to charity. We were down tens of thousands of dollars in income last year, but there is always some way to give. Even if it is just your old "junk" or a bit of time.

Maybe I'm weird though. I've always believed in karma and would hope that if I ever really needed the help it would come to me since I try to do as much as I can for others.

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Well, no I haven't told my kids that 1 in every 3 kids in America is going hungry. But then, my 4.5 yo doesn't really understand that Queensland is a state yet so he has very little understanding of countries. ;-)

I get your point though. What do we do to help kids in need?

Well, for starters, every Christmas each of my kids buys a present to put under the Kmart Wishing Tree. It's where you can put a wrapped gift under the tree for a child that's probably not going to have a Christmas. I think most of the gifts last year went to victims of the floods we had (that drowned about 80% of our state). My boys pick out something themselves (okay, I do help the 2yo), take it home and wrap it, then next time we're in the shopping centre they put it under the tree (or in the bin inside the store). My eldest used to want to keep the toy (as my 2 yo wants to do now), but I've talked to him about why we do this and that there are kids just like him who don't get to have nice, new toys because their family is having a hard time. Last year was easy because I just explained that everything was lost in the flood (which came close to our house, so he knew about it).

We also regularly give to St. Vinnies (a charity like the Salvation Army that run op shops and the proceeds go to help the needy). We go through all our things at least once a year and give whatever we aren't using or don't need. If it's not been used in a year's time, it goes. That's my rule.

I also donate to the Leukemia Foundation (charity for leukemia research). My normal method of donation is to raise money every couple of years by shaving my head, but I do buy raffle tickets or just give a donation when I can. I've always explained to the boys why the Leukemia Foundation is close to my heart and why I will always support it... so they better get used to seeing me without hair at least once every few years. I've done it three times so far and raised a total of $2000 in those instances.

Lastly, when the boys are older I want us to start volunteering for something like OzHarvest, or the equivalent in Brisbane. What they (OzHarvest) do is food rescue. They take excess food from the hospitality industry and deliver it to the needy. Not only is there the social impact of feeding the hungry, but also the environmental impact of less wasted food going into landfill. :-) I really like that charity too, because I used to volunteer at a soup kitchen when I lived in Los Angeles, but if not that then we will be a part of the SES (State Emergency Service), which is something Dale's family has been involved in for generations in NSW. His father is the SES controller for their area. The SES are the people who go help rescue people in floods, search for lost people (like a missing hiker), assist police in rescue and recovery, they'll come put a tarp on your roof if it's been damaged in a storm... basically help in emergencies of any and every kind. And most of the people in it are volunteers.

Because we aren't rich by a long shot, it's easier for us to give of our time. I feel it's the least we can do to help our fellow man (woman and child). Also, because people are more prone to just throwing money at a situation, having more hands on deck benefits the charity too. There is always a shortage of volunteers willing to help the less fortunate.

I want my sons to have a heart and spare a thought for those who aren't as lucky as we are. We have a warm house, clean clothing and food on the table... so we are lucky. I've seen so many homeless in so many countries, there is no way I could NOT help, even in some small way. I would be less human if I didn't.

Jodi - posted on 09/26/2011

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Oh, I forgot to add that every year we do a Vinnies shoebox and we also donate canned food for their Christmas appeal.

JL - posted on 09/26/2011

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We make bags for the homeless once during the summer and once during the winter every year. We ask everyone we know to take those free bottles of shampoo, conditioner and soap from the hotels they stay at and give them to us. I call up hotels and ask them to donate more and we take ziploc bags and fill them up with essential hygiene items. Those bags of hygiene items we deliver to local homeless shelters for them to distribute to the homeless.

This time of the year I take my kids to a grocery store give them each 20 dollars and have them pick out non perishable goods that are healthy. We take those and we donate them to the local food bank.

During the Spring we buy and plant as a donation plants flowers at the local Vet's and women's shelters. We help make the places look beautiful on the outside to raise spirits.

For every holiday including Grandparents day I have my kids make tons of homemade cards that we deliver to the local nursing homes.

My kids are book freaks so we have tons of books and every year at the beginning of school in August I have the kids go through their books and take out the ones they are no longer interested in keeping. We donate those to a books for kids American Literacy program. The books are sent across the world to impoverished children who do not have access to reading materials.

At Christmas time I have my kids pick out presents for different age groups and genders for them to drop into the toys for tots boxes.

There are other things we do but my mind is on stall right now. Need more coffee.

I teach my kids about service and giving back by having them do things with me that have become a tradition in our family. I have had numerous talks with my kids about bullying. My daughter has a t-shirt that she wears to school that says be a buddy not a bully. I have told my kids you can make bad grades, be a not so great athlete and I will encourage you to try harder but if you bully and treat another person in a mean manner I will be disappointed and saddened. I have taught my kids to stand up for others, use the power of kindness and always have good manners. They fully understand the golden rule.

My kids have felt the joy of giving and helping and they like that feeling so they go out of their way to give and be kind.

Krista - posted on 09/26/2011

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I haven't really taught my son yet about that...he just turned two, so I doubt he'd get it. Personally? I often donate clothes and diapers to our local family resource centre, and food to the local food bank. I also refuse to vote for any politician who talks about cutting social programs that help children.

It breaks my heart to see children in other countries suffering, and it's frustrating, because any help directed towards them often gets stolen by their corrupt governments or armies. And in North America, I think that it is absolutely OBSCENE that any child should go hungry, when collectively, we are so rich.

Jodi - posted on 09/26/2011

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Actually, it is more like 1 in 5 children are *hungry* not 1 in 3 *have no food*, but anyway.....



I don't talk to my kids about that, because we are in Australia. But there are many people worse off.



I DO however, talk to my children about some kids who go hungry here, and we also talk about the poverty in other countries that I don't think we can even comprehend. In fact, my son did an assignment about it for school.



We always give to goodwill. We donate money at times, my kids have also donated their pocket money to causes to help other children.

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