Dec 082015

This shop and my suggestions for preschool toys to donate has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGDeal #CollectiveBias

I’ve always felt it was important to teach Bubbles to have a kind and giving heart.  Small acts of kindness go a long way in this world, and I want her to think of others and not just herself.  I also want her to know the joy of brightening someone else’s day.

If you need ideas for preschool toys to donate, here are 5 great options!

As a family, we shop every year for gifts that we’ll donate to the various toy drives and angel trees in town.  Friends and family often comment that they would like to do something similar, but had two concerns in common.  One was the cost of giving during an already expensive time of year (and during an already tough economic climate) and the other was a lack of knowledge in what kids might like. Continue reading »

Sep 062012

Hold a Big Help Book Drive and provide books for kids.

I have always felt really lucky that I had two parents who made sure I fell in love with books and reading practically from birth.  Some of my earliest memories are of being read to, or of flipping through books on my own.  I had a pretty expansive library even as a toddler, and as I got older I was encouraged to pick out new books at book fairs and through those monthly fliers from Scholastic that were sent home from school.  I’m confident that the foundation in literacy that my parents built for me directly influenced my decision to make English one of my college majors.

What I didn’t know at the time was that wasn’t the case for every child.  61% of low-income families have no books for children in their homes, and more than 80% of the preschool and after-school programs serving at-risk children have no books at all.  If you remember from the Champions For Kids Bag It Forward project I participated in last month, the teacher who received my donations said they sent books home with the kids at night so they would have things to read.

Nickelodeon books, like SpongeBob SquarePants available at Walmart

There are books available at Walmart that are based on Nickelodeon TV shows, like these SpongeBob ones. A lot of them come in these six packs, which are a great savings!

Continue reading »

Aug 202012

Know someone deserving of school supplies? Bag It Forward!

School is officially back in session in our area, as well as many areas around the country.  If you don’t have a student of your own, you probably knew anyway if you’ve been to pretty much any store out there.  The Back to School aisles are packed with notebooks, pens, crayons, glue, and oh, yeah – lots of people!

While there are a number of people filling up backpacks this fall the sad fact is that not everyone can afford all that’s needed to have a successful school year.  It’s not a new phenomenon but the current economy certainly isn’t helping the situation.  After college I spent a year teaching in a rural public school district.  The town and school were filled with wonderful, hard-working people, but it certainly wasn’t a wealthy group of folks.  I know that I wasn’t the only teacher who purchased a few things out of her own pocket in an effort to ensure the classrooms had everything they needed.

I have participated in two previous Simple Service Projects in conjunction with Champions for Kids, so when I heard about their newest collaboration with Elmer’s that encouraged people to “Bag it Forward” by purchasing school supplies and donating them to a deserving student, teacher, or community group, I was immediately on board.  Not only was I a teacher, many of my friends and family members work or have worked in education: my father was a teacher many years ago, my sister-in-law is currently student teaching to finish her degree, my uncle was a superintendent, my aunt was a teacher, my best friend and her husband work in the same school district, and my aunt-in-law is a teacher – just to name a few! Continue reading »

Jul 162012

A few days ago I shared with you that Champions for Kids had partnered with Spinbrush for a new SIMPLE Service Project – Spin Into Action – and that my family was excited to be participating.  Well, over the past few days we’ve also involved our family and friends to collect a donation of oral health care items.  We also made a return trip back to Walmart (you can see our entire first shopping trip here) to pick up a few additional donations of our own.

Captain American Spinbrush #SpinbrushCFK

My Way! Spinbrushes With Stickers #SpinbrushCFK

When we hit the oral health care aisle at Walmart I was glad to see that they had some of the Captain American Spinbrushes left, because it was one I really wanted to include in my donation.  They also had plenty of the My Way! Spinbrushes which I think are completely cool (really, where were all these fun toothbrushes when I was a kid?).  Since I had already picked up a Captain America one, I went with the pink My Way! one to balance it out. Continue reading »