"As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way." - Mary Ann Radmacher
Spotlight: Jackie & the Paw Power Pet Jamboree
To fulfill her Bat Mitzvah project, this animal-loving, 11-year old co-founded the Paw Power Pet Jamboree, a 5K race/walk with your pet in Lexington, MA. Now 14, Jackie has organized this completely kid-run event for the past three years, successfully bringing together businesses, vendors, and even a veterinary clinic in support of furry four-legged friends in the Massachusetts area. The most recent race brought in over 100 individual donations, an air-brush t-shirt station, a free pet nail clipping station, dog portraits, homemade ceramic dog bowls, and pets from around the area joined in on the fun.
Jackie started the race due to her love of dogs; she currently has two golden retrievers of her own. She is also passionate about the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA, where she donates the funds raised from the race. When reflecting on her own volunteer experience at the shelter, Jackie shared that, ‘You see them [the animals] and when they get adopted, it’s the best part. Sometimes it’s too quickly though and you miss them, but you get to see the happy families and a good home.”
In a Q and A about the Paw Power Pet Jamboree, Jackie shared some thoughts and advice about her experience organizing this type of event:
Why did you choose to organize a 5K race?
“I wanted to do something and not just ask people for money, but have it be fun and create memories for them, incorporating their pets.”
What is your favorite thing about helping with the race?
“Every part is so much fun and you get to see how nice the businesses are - helping out - the community really comes together and the race has grown every year.”
What does it mean to be a #GivingKID?
"Being a giving kid means that you want to help others and not do it for a reward, but just do it to do it and feel good about it.”
Spotlight: Connecting Kids
Human beings are hard wired for connection. It’s a fact that our minds and bodies thrive when we engage with people and causes that resonate with us. In our most recent blog post, we talked about how technology has revolutionized the way we think about social relationships and connections, and how PGK is a unique example of the use of technology to make connections that cultivate the greater good.
And when these connections are made, there is something magical that happens. An example:
Over the summer we have been promoting a #SummerKindnessChallenge. At our house in Florida, and at the homes of several others near Boston, we kicked off the summer by making Jared Boxes for children facing life-limiting illnesses at Good Shepherd Community Care in Newton, MA. As we were bringing the Jared Box Project on as a PGK partner, they shared with us a request they had just gotten for Jared Boxes from Good Shepherd. Since this was in the backyard of one of our PGK cities, we had to activate our network, and the 40 boxes they needed got made by 10 different families in a matter of days.
At our house, the boxes were a fun start to the summer with friends, accompanied by a pool party and pizza. Our nine-year-old did a PowerPoint introducing the Jared Box Project and Good Shepherd; he learned a lot in the making, and his friends, a bit in the sharing too. Equally fun and rewarding was sharing back with them the feedback from the child life specialist who had started distributing the boxes to her patients:
“These boxes have been awesome and full of such great stuff for my patients. I brought one to a pediatric hospice patient and his best friend last week. We couldn’t even get on to our craft project because they were having so much fun playing with the fidgets in the box. It was really just awesome!”
Not sure who got more from this exchange, the kids on the receiving end or us. But then again, it doesn’t really matter. Something magical happens when we make connections that lead to action touching more than just our own. We all win...and then some.
Back to School Kindess List
By Rachel Hanebutt, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, PGK - Boston
Busy with the Back to School grind? Heading back to school soon? Project Giving Kids has created a list of great kindness-driven “to-dos” for you and your family to get this school year started on the nicest note! Here are only seven of the many ideas on our site - one for every day of the week!
1. Did you buy new crayons for school this year? Donate extra or unwanted crayons to Crayon Collection for kids who might not be able to afford new crayons for the new year.
2. While you’re at it, make more intentional, environmentally-friendly decisions when buying school supplies; buy “Green” school supplies” for your child and encourage other parents to do the same!
3. Back to school shopping means back to school tennis shoes (and good deals) - consider donating new tennis shoes to Gotta Have Sole for kids who can’t afford new shoes this year and teach your kids the importance of donating extra goods to those in need.
4. While school supplies are at their lowest costs, have your child pick out a couple extra school supplies to donate to Schools on Wheels’ School Supply Drive for Homeless Students.
5. Not sure what to buy? You can always donate to your local Walmart or other shopping center. Oftentimes there are boxes outside of shopping centers or schools for this purpose!
6. Are your kids excited to play sports this year? Have them pick out great books about sports and donate them to Doc Wayne’s All About Sports Book Drive! This is a fun and creative way to get your kids excited and to teach them compassion at the same time!
7. Imagine not having your family see you off on your first day of school. For children in the foster system, the new days of school can be tough. Consider filling a nice duffel bag or “sweet case” with hygiene products, books, crayons, and blankets for foster kids served by Together We Rise.
What is your favorite “to-do” in our list? We want to know! #GivingKIDS