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Author: Jacob Martin

When Summer Isn’t Fun: Keeping Kids ‘Summer Strong’ with SIMPLE Service

When Summer Isn’t Fun: Keeping Kids ‘Summer Strong’ with SIMPLE Service

Keeping Kids ‘Summer Strong’ with SIMPLE Service

You probably remember what summer was like as a kid–warm days at the pool, picnics in the park or watching Spongebob practically nonstop. For kids who rely on free school lunches, however, summer can be a time of uncertainty. Kids from unstable homes, or environments of abuse, must endure (not enjoy) the summer.

At Champions for Kids, we want to provide essentials to kids and families so they can be strong during the summer. Our home is Northwest Arkansas, and we believe supporting each other starts locally. One local organization Champions for Kids is proud to support is the Child Advocacy Center of Benton County (CAC). They provide a safe environment to serve abused children and their families–free of charge! To achieve this mission, they need the help of the community. They need everything from clothing, snacks and soap to games and art supplies to achieve their mission. That’s where we (and you) can step in to help.

This Saturday, May 16th, Champions for Kids be collecting items at Pinnacle Hills Promenade, in Rogers, AR, to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County (CAC). This Saturday project serves as a kick-off to our Summer Strong SIMPLE Service initiative. From May 15th to June 30th, you can tell us about ways in which you are helping kids in your community. By sharing that story, you have the chance to win part of $50,000 for an organization of your choice

It can be a project like this one, or you may be inspired to help out in other ways! It’s our way of bolstering the efforts that your town, school, or organization is already putting forth. It’s all in the name of making sure that every child is “Summer Strong.”

So come join us on this Saturday, or tell us how you’re making a difference. After all, shouldn’t every kid be able to have golden summer memories?

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Top 10 Items Schools Need You to Donate for Kids

Top 10 Items Schools Need You to Donate for Kids

School Nurses Gave a List of Most-Needed Donations

Ever wonder what items schools really need donated? We sent out a survey to the National Association of School Nurses to see what were the top 10 items schools most need people to donate for kids. Some things were not surprising, like snacks and books, but can you guess what was the #1 item most needed? Check it out!

Top 10 Items Schools Need You to Donate
List created from the survey answers provided by the National Association of School Nurses

Surprised by the answers? Let us know in the comments and spread the word!

10 Simple Ways Kids Can Volunteer Infograph

10 Simple Ways Kids Can Volunteer Infograph

Volunteering Ideas for Kids of All Ages

If you’re looking for ways your family or kids could give back in your community, check this infograph! Showing and teaching kids how to volunteer in their local communities is a great way to help them learn new skills while learning about life’s diversity. Of course, each suggestion can be tailored to match your child’s age & level, or could be used as a family activity.

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Feeding Kids in Middle Tennessee

Feeding Kids in Middle Tennessee

Food Bank Receives Tyson Foods Donations as Part of Hunger Heroes Campaign

Each week, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee serves more than 6,700 hungry children at more than 100 schools throughout Tennessee. That means, every year, they feed enough kids to fill the Tennessee Titans stadium more than five times. 

As a part of the 2014 Hunger Heroes campaign, Champions for Kids partnered with Tyson Foods to bring 30,000 pounds of chicken to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
As a part of the 2014 Hunger Heroes campaign, Champions for Kids partnered with Tyson Foods to bring 30,000 pounds of chicken to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

Wow.

This feat (because it is truly a feat) takes a community effort, which is why the food bank works with more than 450 partner agencies in a service area covering 46 counties. Last year, their 19 truck fleet covered 533,374 miles rescuing and delivering food to those agencies. That’s enough miles to travel around the earth over 21.4 times.

As a part of the 2014 Hunger Heroes campaign, Champions for Kids partnered with Tyson Foods to bring 30,000 pounds of chicken to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

On February 24, 2015, staff members from Champions for Kids, Tyson Foods and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee gathered together as a Tyson Foods truck pulled up to deliver pounds upon pounds of food to help fight hunger. Tyson Foods has donated over 100 million pounds of protein since 2000, and continues to serve as a champion against hunger in the USA.

Working with these organizations is truly a privilege, because it means coming together to acknowledge and stand against deeply harrowing, often crippling challenges like food insecurity.

Yes, Champions for Kids has the goal of helping 20 million kids by 2020, but our organization does not exist in a vacuum. Only through deliberate collaboration and a shared value of bettering communities can organizations, schools and individuals make a difference.

What do you think? Do you agree/disagree? Let us know in the comments! 

Champions for Kids Awards $10,000 for SIMPLE Giving

Champions for Kids Awards $10,000 for SIMPLE Giving

SIMPLE Giving Brings Funds to School Districts

Nothing brightens up the day like being able to call SIMPLE Giving participants, who took part of the Fall Kids Essentials campaign, and letting them know their school district has won a grant to help kids in need.

Thanks to General Mills, Unilever and Walmart, Champions for Kids was able to award over $10,000 (total) to school districts across the USA. Each award will go to help kids thrive by providing resources, food or other essential items. Congratulations to the following winners:

1st place – $5,000
Parson Hills Elementary

2nd place – $3,000
Johnson City Schools

3rd place – $2,000
Arkansas Unity Hawks

Champions for Kids Awards $11,000 for Stocking Stuffer Challenge

Champions for Kids Awards $11,000 for Stocking Stuffer Challenge

Stocking Stuffer Challenge Brings Resources to Kids

For many, Christmas stockings are filled with fun (sometimes delicious) small gifts. Many kids however, especially those in foster care or insecure living situations, don’t even have a stocking to call their own.

In December 2014, Coca-Cola and Champions for Kids issued a challenge to Arkansas schools and youth-based organizations: fill Christmas stockings with essential items for children. Eleven schools or organizations with the most donated stockings received a $1,000 to help kids.

When Champions for Kids called the winners, the reactions and excitement was contagious. Check it out!

Congratulations to the following schools and non-profits:
Heber Springs High School | Root Elementary School | Prism Education Center | Northwest Arkansas Branch of the NAACP | Arkadelphia School District | R.E. Baker Elementary | Southside School District | First Methodist Church Food Pantry | NWA Chapter Youth M.O.V.E | Apple Seeds, Inc. | Peace at Home

Fighting Hunger by the Truckload

Fighting Hunger by the Truckload

Have you ever wondered what 30,000 lbs of chicken looks like? Probably not. As part of the Hunger Heroes campaign in 2014, Tyson Foods partnered with us to donated product to food banks in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

Donating 30,000 lbs of protein to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC
Donating 30,000 lbs of protein to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC

On Feb. 10, 2015, staff members from Champions for Kids and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC got to see what truckloads (literally!) of donated protein looked like.

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC fights daily to meet the challenges of hunger in its community. In fact:

  • 1 in 6 people living in Northwest North Carolina turn to Second Harvest Food Bank’s network for food assistance.
  • 32 percent of those who receive food assistance through Second Harvest Food Bank’s network of partner food assistance programs are children under the age of 18…(read more here)

Being chronically hungry can have disastrous affects on childhood development, education, community development and more.

This is what 30,000 lbs of chicken looks like.
This is what 30,000 lbs of chicken looks like.

By joining organizations likeTyson Foods (which has donated over 100 million lbs of protein since 2000, by the way), Second Harvest Food Bank, and schools, we stand a real chance in putting a dent on food insecurity. This community effort and ownership of the issue means making a real difference, one truckload at a time.

What do you think? What kind of collaboration would you like to see in your community to fight hunger?