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Doing Good From Your Kitchen Table

This month, we’ve all experienced some seasonal cabin fever. How do you cope when TV is not a great option and the chorus of brother-and-sister bickering might be hitting a high?

This month, we’ve all experienced some seasonal cabin fever. How do you cope when TV is not a great option and the chorus of brother-and-sister bickering might be hitting a high? We’ve all had days like this and, we all know how frustrating it is to watch our kids unravel because they’re bored.

A simple solution that will help your kids shift the focus from themselves to others is a fun “kitchen table project.” A micro-volunteer project is an easy way to do some good and engage your kids in the joy of giving back.

The next time the chill is in the air or the heat index is off the charts, the whining is rising, and you don’t want to hear “I’m bored!” yet another time, gather your family around the table for a volunteer project. Your kids might grumble at first, but be patient. We’re guessing that getting absorbed in something that’s not about them will change their attitudes.

Our friends at Doing Good Together have brainstormed a comprehensive list of Kitchen Table Projects. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Make greeting cards to deliver to ill children in need of some cheering up. Two websites (www.sendkidstheworld.com and www.hugsandhope.org) provide photos and information about sick children who are hoping for some cheerful mail. Families can make a card together for one of the children. You can also enclose something lightweight with the card like stickers, coloring sheets, a postcard or a bookmark.
  2. Write a family letter or send a package to a soldier. Send joy to men and women fighting for freedom far from home. For more information, check out Operation Gratitude or A Million Thanks.
  3. Make a blanket. Families can make a blanket for a child in need of comfort. Create a simple, no-sew fleece blanket (anyone can do it!) and then donate through the Midlands chapter of Project Linus. Watch a video about Project Linus with your children so they will understand the impact these blankets can have in kids’ lives.
  4. Make Cookies. Contact a local senior center, nursing home, fire or police department and offer to make and deliver cookies for those that serve or folks who could use a special treat.

We’d love to hear more ideas of how your family has helped others from your kitchen table. Let us know how your family is using their time to help.