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:
Instead of having plastic plates, cups and goodie bags, ask your parents to use paper or something reusable.
Switch balloons and streamers for homemade paper chains from recycled paper.
Make your own hand drawn invitations or send them electronically.
Personalise your goodie bags by drawing and writing names on brown paper bags.
Instead of a plastic tablecloth, use a cloth one that can be washed.
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.
Organise a scavenger hunt where kids have to find items found in nature.
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!
Ask your friends to donate some money to a charity you like.
Instead of gifts, ask people to bring pre-loved blankets and towels you can donate to an animal shelter.
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:
Buy some flowers or a big bag of chocolates and give one with each person who walks past, wishing them a nice day.
Go into a coffee shop and leave some money and kindness cards for the next few people to have a free drink. Feed parking meters that are about to expire.
Put flowers on the windshields of parked cars.
If it's near Christmas, select a gift for a "wishing tree" or charity.
Buy a small gift for your teacher, a friend's parent or your own to thank them for everything they do for you.
Give flowers to elderly people you see sitting around.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 it and feel inspired to do something more, look below to see how you can help an existing organisation or be inspired by some of the amazing things other kids are doing.
But remember, before you join or do anything, make sure you ask your parents first!
The Great Kindness Challenge
The Great Kindness Challenge 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!!!
The 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.
In 2012 my son and three of his school friends joined the challenge raising over $6,600.
When Jaylen was teased at school because he had motor and vocal tics associated with several disorders he suffers from, he decided to start a charity to put and end to bullying.
His challenge, since he was only 8 years old, was to educate every teacher and every kid in every school!
That was in 2008. See what this incredible young man has achieved.
When Lulu was 10, she learned that each cup of lemonade she sold for $1 could provide a person in Africa with clean drinking water for one whole year.
Inspired by the life saving power of even the smallest donation, she set up a Boys vs Girls LemonAID challenge. They raised an amazing $4,000!
She now helps people learn how to throw a party and do good at the same time. There are lots of resources on her website.
Kids are Heroes
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.
Earth Rangers is the kids’ conservation organization, committed to instilling environmental knowledge, positivity, and the confidence to take action in every child in Canada.
They do this through a variety of free programs that children can participate in at school, at home, and in their communities. All of these programs are educational and engaging – but more importantly, they show children that it’s not too late to help the planet, and the things we do today will matter tomorrow.
Become an Earth Ranger to help save animals.
Kids Helping Kids
Kids Helping Kids was started by Lexi when she was 9 years old. Lexi received incredible support from friends, neighbors, and classmates after being involved in a serious car accident and undergoing facial reconstructive surgery.
She started her foundation to encourage 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.
Balls Go Round
Balls-Go-Round was started in 2007 and 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.
Things you can be part of in Australia
If you live in Melbourne, Australia, and love animals, then Act Wild is a website and mobile app that might interest you.
Visiting their site you will find information about wildlife, zoo feeds and events, and you can even get your school involved. There are even opportunities to take simple real world actions that benefit wildlife.
Will you Act Wild and make a difference?
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!