"As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way." - Mary Ann Radmacher
Screen Time to Promote Service? How PGK is Changing Lives Through Technology
By Rachel Hanebutt, Communcations & Outreach Coordinator, PGK - Boston
Studies have shown that kids are connected; some might say more connected ever before. According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of all teens spend time with friends via social media; 23% do so daily. Technology has undoubtedly revolutionized how we think about social relationships and connections; today’s kids cannot even imagine a world where immediately communicating with friends and family wasn’t possible.
But with the fear of too much “screen time” and myths that all television dumbs down the information kids receive, technology offers promising effects inside and out of the classroom. Technology platforms that seek to serve a greater purpose, like Project Giving Kids, become the opportune way for parents to leverage technology use in helping their kids to develop empathy skills and important social connections off-screen.
Finding ways for kids to connect with one another, learn about community causes and find out how they can make an impact in their community is one way that technology has worked to the advantage of today’s society. More specifically, today’s kids thrive on being able to find things out as soon as they think of them, to learn about them and to be able to share them with their friends. Why should service be any different?
Very few online platforms are able to leverage this social communication in a fun, but educational format. Service learning and doing kind things for others is essential for promoting a more caring, kind, and informed generation of leaders and policy makers.
Encourage your kids to form social connections by having them find great activities on PGK’s website. They can share them with their friends and start volunteering together, host a food drive together, or even just learn about great causes in their community! Using PGK’s technology, all kids can become #GivingKIDS, while forming important, but altruistic social connections with their peers.
What is the PGK Summer Kindness Challenge?
By Rachel Hanebutt, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, PGK-Boston
It’s no question that competition and challenge drive social connectedness and a sense of belonging, especially for young children. Learning to play games, win or lose, is also an important developmental milestone for all children. In some ways, being competitive is a way for kids to bond over things they have in common or hobbies they like to do.
We see this competition mentality most frequently on sports teams and in social groups at school, but imagine a world where kids bond over service and friendly competition towards a good cause! Scout troops and youth groups are known for this type of social group service, but you don’t have to be a member of a specific organization to get involved with service this summer.
Project Giving Kids has created the #SummerKindnessChallenge to help kids and families to make service a little more fun this summer. Similar to other social media campaigns and events, you can spread the message of your family’s good deeds and service, while making a bigger impact and challenging other families and friends to do the same!
The #SummerKindnessChallenge is unique in that all you have to do is tag one of the PGK social media accounts and challenge your friends - no monetary contribution is required. Spreading kindness is free this summer and you can participate in the #SummerKindnessChallenge as many times as you want!
As with any competition, prizes are a must, so PGK will randomly select winners to receive cool PGK Prize Packs!
So we challenge you and your family to participate in the #SummerKindnessChallenge. Challenge your friends and make spreading kindness a priority for your kids this summer!
Spotlight: Annie B. and Wags 4 Hope
My name is Annie Blumenfeld and I am a 17 year-old from Connecticut. I came across PGK's outstanding efforts in helping improve the lives of others, and I want to share with you something I am so passionate about. After rescuing my beloved dog from a high kill shelter in Texas as he was just about to be put down, Master Teddy tested positive for heartworm disease. Shelters are often too crowded and do not have the funds to pay for treatment. It broke my heart thinking about what Teddy had to endure being kept in a crate while arsenic went through his body.
Many animals so do not survive like Master Teddy, but heartworm disease (HWD) is avoidable with a monthly preventative. I researched and found HWD is in all 50 states (and beyond) and roughly 45% of dogs are not on any preventatives. In an effort to educate pet owners about pet responsibility and the importance of HWD, I founded Wags 4 Hope, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization. Through Wags 4 Hope, I paint commissioned pictures of animals and 100% of the proceeds are given to help animal shelters globally. I also work to spearhead change that can help animals, and I am so proud that CT is now the first state to have an animal wellness message on the CT dog license application. (I hope other states will follow!)
If you want to learn more about Wags 4 Hope, commission a painting, or find out how together we can help protect deserving animals, please check us out on Facebook or visit the Wags 4 Hope website at wags4hope.org!