Getting More Involved

It's easy to believe that adults are the only ones who can make a difference but that's simply not true! Many children all over the world have done amazing things that have changed people's lives forever. They managed to do it because they believed they could and didn't take no for an answer.  You don't have to create a charity to help, you can do things.

Why not have a different type of party this year? One that makes a difference!

- Donate Your Gifts -

Check out the videos above and see how even little kids can make others happy by donating some of the gifts they receive to children who are sick or don't have many toys. 

- Environmentally Friendly Party -

Birthday parties often mean lots of plastic and garbage that's bad for the environment but that doesn't have to be the case! If you care about trees, animals and the earth, perhaps this is a party you would like.

Here are some ideas:
little-star Instead of having plastic plates, cups and goodie bags, ask your parents to use paper or something reusable.
little-star Switch balloons and streamers for homemade paper chains from recycled paper.
little-star Make your own hand drawn invitations or send them electronically.
little-star Personalise your goodie bags by drawing and writing names on brown paper bags.
little-star Instead of a plastic tablecloth, use a cloth one that can be washed. 
little-star Have a picnic at a local park and ask friends to bring along a flower or shrub and some gardening gloves and tools. Clean up an area that needs some attention and pop your plants in. 
little-star Organise a scavenger hunt where kids have to find items found in nature.
little-star Give a prize for the person who can collect the most rubbish/trash to help clean up the park. 

- Pay It Forward Party -

Lots of kids have far too much stuff and often find it difficult to think of what they'd like for their birthday. If this is the case for you, instead of asking for gifts you really don't need, perhaps you'd enjoy a party that makes other people happy!

little-star Ask your friends to donate some money to a charity you like. 
little-star Instead of gifts, ask people to bring pre-loved blankets and towels you can donate to an animal shelter. 
little-star You'll need to organize this one with your parents and it's best just to have a small group. Get some kindness cards and ask people to bring along the money they would have spent on your gift. Word up your friends and organize a list of kind things you can do for people in the community. Ask your parents to take you to the local shopping centre / mall where you'll be able to find lots of people that will appreciate your kindness.

Here are some ideas of how you can make people smile:

little-star Buy some flowers or a big bag of chocolates and give one with each person who walks past, wishing them a nice day.  
little-star Go into a coffee shop and leave some money and kindness cards for the next few people to have a free drink.  little-star Feed parking meters that are about to expire.  
little-star Put flowers on the windshields of parked cars.
little-star If it's near Christmas, select a gift for a "wishing tree" or charity.  
little-star Buy a small gift for your teacher, a friend's parent or your own to thank them for everything they do for you.  
little-star Give flowers to elderly people you see sitting around.  
little-star Give people compliments.

Getting a home made card always brightens someone's day! Give one to your teacher, parents, friends, neighbours or perhaps even someone you don't know. There are also lots of people around the world who don't have family or might be sick and lonely. You can take your cards to your local hospital or nursing home or find someone to send a card to overseas.

Many men and women around the world serve in the armed forces to help keep us safe. They are often away from home for months or years without seeing their family and friends. They make a huge sacrifice to keep the world safe and are grateful to know they're appreciated. 

If you live in Australia and would like to support sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen you can send them a message via email at supportthetroops@defence.gov.au. There is a lot of great information here about how you can post a parcel up to 2kg in weight without any postal fee as well as advice on what you can and can't include in your care package. 

If you live in the United States, here is some information about what to send and how to package your parcel. You can ask your parents to help you google to find the correct address.

There are lots of people in our communities that help to keep us safe and happy, or support people who aren't as fortunate. It's not often they get a "thank you" for their time and dedication, so could you imagine how grateful they'd be if you went to visit your local fire or police station, hospital or charity with a plate full of homemade biscuits or cake and a big smile!

Animals are such wonderful loyal companions but there are many without a loving home who are cared for by caring people who run shelters. If your family is considering getting a pet, please check your local shelter to give an animal a second chance at life.

If you already have a pet but would love to help out, shelters are always in need of volunteer to care for the residents. This can be a wonderful thing to do as a family.

Another way you can help is to collect old towels and blankets to keep animals warm. And some shelters even allow kids to go read to the animals. Check out the video above. 

Elderly people can be very lonely, especially if they live on their own or in an aged care facility. One way you can brighten their day is to collect unwanted books, magazines, games and DVD's to donate to a nursing home.

If you have a special talent, you might like to put on a show to provide some entertainment or ask your parents if you can go play some games with them. You can make cards, homemade biscuits or cakes and have a tea party.

The elderly have a lot of great advice about life and stories to tell, so chances are, they may be the ones to entertain you. 

Think you're too young?

It really doesn't matter how young or old you are, everyone can do something to help someone else.
Check out what Phoebe did to make a difference!

Ready to try something bigger?

If you're really getting into showing kindness, you might like to check out these great websites for ideas of what you can do to make a difference in the world!
But before you join or do anything, make sure you ask your parents first!

The Great Kindness Challenge

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The Great Kindness Challenge – Global Edition is one day devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible, choosing from a checklist of 50 suggestions which can be downloaded from the website.

Help us rock the world with kindness and reach millions of participants around the world! Take the Challenge! You can do it by yourself, with your friends or even with a large group.
It’s easy…and it’s so much fun!!!

Love For The Elderly

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Love For The Elderly was started by
a teenage boy who was concerned about the number of elderly people who are lonely.
His organization collects letters of kindness and distributes them to elderly citizens. You can write your own letters and mail them to Jacob for distribution or submit it online.

Perhaps you could inspire the kids in your grade to write letters and deliver them to the elderly in your local area.

World’s Greatest Shave

World’s Greatest Shave raises funds for the Leukaemia Foundation’s important work helping people in Australia suffering from the disease.

Since 1998, over a million people have shaved or coloured their hair, raising more than of $120 million.

In 2012 my son and three of his school friends joined the challenge raising over $6,600.

School Aid

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School Aid help kids all over Australia to hold events and raise money for important projects helping other kids affected by poverty, disaster and disease, live a better life.

You also have the chance to learn about other great projects being undertaken by schools throughout Australia and find out more about the lives of kids in many different countries and cultures.

Balls Go Round

Ballslogo2Balls-Go-Round is dedicated to collecting, recycling & reusing recreational balls in order to help needy organizations and youth programs throughout the U.S.

Over 50,000 metric tons of recreational balls are dumped into the earth annually. Balls-Go-Round aggressively collect & distribute all types of balls with the sole purpose of GOING GREEN for replay or reuse.

Act Wild

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Act Wild is a website, m-site and mobile app providing opportunities to take simple real world actions that benefit wildlife. Your everyday actions impact the wild. There’s information about wild life, zoo feeds and events, and you can even get your school involved.

Will you Act Wild and make a difference?

Kids Helping Kids

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Kids Helping Kids is an initiative that encourages young healthy kids to get involved and raise money for seriously ill and disadvantaged children and their families who need help through difficult times.

It’s as easy as raising $25 a month for one year – but the difference this makes to the family of a seriously ill child is remarkable.

Back to School Day

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Back 2 School Day is The Smith Family’s national fundraising event, and a fun and simple way for your school to help Aussie kids in need create better futures for themselves through education.

Kids can help by getting their school involved in creating a fun whole school event. Check out the website for ideas of how to get started.

Future Sparks

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Future Sparks is a fun and empowering look at climate and a future with clean energy, aimed at
8 to 13 year olds.

They inspire kids to get involved and want to hear about your idea about how to save the environment. There are blogs, lesson plans, competitions and things to inspire you to think outside the square!

Jilly Bear’s Jewels

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If you like crafts, then this online store might be just the place for you.
Jillybear’s Jewels is a community of creative Australian children learning to make a difference and support a cause at an early age.

Children on this site create items to sell for the charity of their choice.

Earth Rangers

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Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring children to Bring Back the Wild™. The focus is to communicate to children a positive science–based message on the importance of protecting biodiversity and adopting more sustainable behaviours.

Become an Earth Ranger!

Kids are Heroes

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Kids Are Heroes® empowers, encourages and inspires children to become leaders through volunteering and community involvement. They showcase and support children who are making a difference through their selfless acts of giving.

They teach children to follow their passions at an early age. Visit the website to see how kids are making a huge impact, and to see how YOU can become a hero.

Pennies of Time

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Get some great ideas and read stories of kindness from kids and adults around the world.

It might inspire you to do something
of your own.

Go check it out here!

Calista Cares

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Calista started helping to raise money for the Special Olympics and Make-A-Wish when she was 7 years old. She became involved with Make-A-Wish when her brother, a Special Olympics athlete was granted a wish.

During her years of fundraising, she has raised over $35,000.

Take a look at how this ordinary girl makes a difference.
http://www.calistacares.com/