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What it means to help a child and why it matters in 9 quotes

What it means to help a child and why it matters in 9 quotes

What it means to help a child.

Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.
— Fred Rogers, television personality and educator

Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.
— John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

Not a day passes, but I get a letter from a child. … I answer every one personally. When I was a child I know, if I had received a real letter from an author whose book I’d read, I would have been the happiest boy alive. And if I am to do any good in this world my highest ambition will be to make children happy.
— L. Frank Baum, author of children’s books such as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

All the little ones of our time are collectively the children of us adults of the time, and entitled to our general care.
— Thomas Hardy, English novelist and poet

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
— Carl Jung, influential psychiatrist and psychotherapist

The welfare of a child is not to be measured by money only, nor by physical comfort only.
— Nathaniel Lindley, English judge

There is something deeply hypocritical in a society that holds an inner-city child only eight years old “accountable” for her performance on a high-stakes standardized exam but does not hold the high officials of our government accountable for robbing her of what they gave their own kids six or seven years before.
— Jonathan Kozol, author and public education activist

Nothing matters more to a child than a place to call home.
— Brenda Donald, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources

Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.
— Garrison Keillor, author and radio personality

What drives you to make a difference in the lives of children? Is it someone you knew when you were young? Is it something you saw that changed the way you thought about the world?

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Tips for Holding a Coat Drive

Tips for Holding a Coat Drive

Giving the gift of warmth

by Kristen Martin

The past few winters have broken records for cold temperatures, snow, ice, and wind-chill. With the cold weather, we pull out warm sweaters, gloves, hats, scarves, and coats. Since children grow every year, they need new warm clothes every year. For some families, the expense of providing these necessary protective barriers is impossible. It is up to us to help the children in our community. The four steps in our guide will teach you how to start a coat drive the right way. With friends, you can brainstorm new, creative idea that best fit your community.

Select a Beneficiary

From the beginning, you’ll want to communicate with your nonprofit about their needs and what they can accept. If your first choice can’t distribute the coats, be willing to either switch to something they need or ask if there’s another organization they know in need of a coat drive. Plan with your organization to find the best time and way to deliver the clothing. If you want to have donation bins somewhere in the community, get approval before you start.

Alternatively, consider donating to Operation Warm, which provides new coats for children through community organizations. “For each $20 that is donated, a child in the community gets the opportunity to choose a new coat in his or her favorite color and style.” You give warmth as well as self-esteem and acceptance.
One Warm Coat is another organization that can help you plan and hold your coat drive. They have plenty of creative ideas, materials to help promote, and tools to find local beneficiaries.

Promote

For a successful donation drive, your community has to be aware of it. Get the word out with posters and social media. If your bins are going to be in public places, decorate them in attention-grabbing ways aimed at your community. Don’t be afraid to notify your local media and send a press release.

Host the Drive

You’ll want boxes big enough for these bulky coats. You can get boxes from moving companies or stores that sell large products. Make sure your donations collections are where people will be. You can set up donation bins in specific places over a long period of time, or you can have volunteers encourage donations at a specific location on a specific day. If you opt for a single day, it’s especially important that you accept cash or credit donations for those who decide to donate on the spot. You’ll want to have enough volunteers to work in shifts.

If possible, extend your coat drive to a winter clothing drive. According to a recent study, we may be more likely to get the common cold when we’re breathing in cold air, so balaclavas, facemasks, and scarves worn up over the nose could be important in keeping us healthy.

Sort and Count

After the collection is over, you’ll want to count and sort the donations according to the needs of the organization who will receive them. You may encounter coats that are much more than gently used. In these cases, companies like Goodwill can still accept the donation and recycle the fabric if it’s not able to be sold.

Example Coat Drive Ideas

  • Hold a drive at an event like a holiday party, football game, or service project.
  • Host a winter dance that charges monetary donations or winter clothing donations for entrance.
  • Businesses can offer discounts in exchange for a coat donation.
  • Branches or departments of a business can compete for a casual day or force a departmental boss to wear something ridiculous.
  • Hold competing coat drives at rival schools or school districts—winners get a party or a pie to the face of an administrator.
  • Coordinate with the manager at a department store that sells clothing to host the drive right outside.
  • Host a concert and charge admission in clothing donations.
  • Enlist the support of a local radio personality to mention the drive and participate.

Champions for Kids staff preparing to deliver coats.

We really enjoyed our coat drive last year. We’d love to hear how your drive goes! Share your story with us and we may feature it for others to see.

Ways you can #PayitForward with your Wedding

Ways you can #PayitForward with your Wedding

It’s February!  Valentine’s Day is the time of year when love is in the air and so many couples are getting married or starting to plan weddings.  You can turn your day of wedding bliss into a beautiful time to inspire change in your own community. Here are 4 ways you can use your wedding to pay it forward and be Champions for Kids.

give back and pay it forward at your wedding

  • Make your venue count for change. Knowing your site fee is supporting a place of value will add to the character of your wedding day.
    • Hold your wedding reception at a nonprofit or a place that offers services to kids in the community.
  • Think of how unique and beautiful your reception would be to host your wedding at a park that provides a safe place for schools.
    • Hold it at a museum or historical site.
    • A botanical garden could provide a beautiful background for your wedding while providing children in your neighborhood a continued place to thrive.
  • Flowers used twice are even more nice:

    • After photos have been taken and the petals have been scattered, send the remaining bouquets to children battling illnesses in a hospital.
    • Imagine a bride stopping at a pediatric wing to give a cancer patient her bouquet.  That bride and groom would definitely be a champion for kids.   
  • Who needs favors when “Change” can be made?  Instead of spending change on favors, be the change you want to see in the world.

    • In place of favors give to the “Help Kids Thrive” fund or give to a favorite charity that serves children in your neighborhood. Put place cards on each setting stating that a donation was made in their honor.
  • Want to have a different kind of bachelorette or bachelor party? Be “that couple” who helps.
    • You can join an effort to paint an after school room that serves latch key kids.
    • Get together and create care packages for nurses and doctors who are champions for kids daily.
    • Bridesmaids will always rally for their brides.  Rally and get it done. Spend a day doing a Simple Service Project to give the children in your neighborhood something beautiful.

No matter where you hold your wedding there is always a way you can turn it into a world of good and be Champions for kids in a beautiful way. Make your “I do” a promise to the world and change your small corner for the better.