"As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way." - Mary Ann Radmacher
Why Dirt & Service Are Important For Kids
My kids don't get their hands dirty enough. Sometimes I wonder if things have really changed a lot in a generation, or maybe the difference is where I'm raising them. (I grew up in a rural college town and my kids have only known urban cores.) Regardless, I’m convinced kids need dirt. Last summer, I took my two oldest to the Fields of Green run by our amazing partner Food For Free, an experience they still remember. If you ask my older one, he could probably recite the number of bunches of scallions they harvested that day. If you asked the other, he’d probably just tell you he remembers it was hard work and he was hot…for two whole hours. (Get the details on how to get your kids involved in this project here.)
The point is, they remember. I have seen time and time again my kids recount one of the lemonade stand they have run, how much they raised, and which nonprofit they raised the money for and why; or a day when they cleaned donated toys to go to kids who otherwise might not have any to play with; or, again, the day they picked scallions in the hot, hot sun. As our time feels more and more limited with each passing week, it can be easy to put off these experiences, to push them aside until time “frees up.” The reality is, however, that time really doesn’t free up anymore. We seem to live at a pace and in a time in which more and more is offered and asked of us every day. We have to set our priorities.
The great thing about having these experiences with kids when they are young is how powerfully they are imprinted in the brain. At a time in life when new connections (in the brain) are being formed, the impact of getting out and doing something to make a difference with our kids resonates far beyond the moment of action, the full ripple effect of which is never fully known, much like the act of giving itself. The other great thing, the activity doesn’t have to be extensive or lengthy; it just needs to be impactful.
A full year later, we are still wiping our brow from those two hours with the scallions and the great Food For Free team. I think it’s time for a little more dirt.
Saying Goodbye To Summer
Hot off the press! Catch the latest PGK News in our end-of-summer Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1KgsmA0 - full of great service ideas for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year, partner updates, and more.
And to make sure it lands in your inbox the next time around, subscribe to our list! (Just fill out the form at the bottom of the page.)
2015-2016 Service Ideas Ready and Waiting
At Project Giving Kids, we are all about making service easy, accessible and fun! To that end, we've put together some great ideas for the upcoming school year that you can excecute with your family, your friends, your class, or your team. Whether you pick one idea or all ten OR search through our site to find another project that might be even more meaningful for you, we hope this gives you a good starting point. We've got one for each of our pilot cities - Los Angeles & Boston - but for those of you in other beautiful places, our site is full of great ideas for you too. If you ever have a question, shoot us an email and we'll gladly put our thinking caps on and do our best to help. Happy Back to School!