As a parent, I want to make sure my children understand empathy and have compassion for others. I want them to understand that there are kids, just like them, who have no home. No clothes. I want them to know that these kids often go hungry as they have no food.
I don’t want to scare my kids, but I want them to understand that they have been blessed. We are teaching them the lesson of how to give to others.
The easiest way we do this is to have them donate each week at church. They cash in some of their tickets and put money into the collection basket. We also have them donate to other charities during the year, by allowing them to find the ones that they like the most. When the holidays come around, they volunteer and they help other children by giving them a gift. They even partake in our family’s annual gift of adopting a family.
I not only teach them how to do this at home, but also how they can continue to support these charities around our community. One simple way that we do this is by following what some of our retailers are doing to help others.
When we visit the store, we will see signs about what they have donated. They will often look at the dollar amounts and their jaws will hit the ground. They are sometimes shocked to see what stores have done. But, even more than that, they see that this big store is helping out and it gives them a little more encouragement to want to shop there because they see that some of what they spend will help others.
One store we love is Toys R Us (of course – what kid doesn’t?!?). I was thrilled to share with them about how Toys R Us had teamed up with Save The Children. I went on line to the Save The Children site and shared with my kids how these children live in poverty and what this organization is doing to help.
One thing that Save The Children does is to ensure all children get a healthy start. Part of that is to provide kids in impoverished regions of the country with opportunities and resources to integrate purposeful play into their everyday lives; a factor proven critical in children’s emotional, physical and cognitive development and future growth.
Here are some interesting statics which I learned about kids and playing:
- 15.5 Million U.S. Children Live in Poverty; Many Lack Playtime in Their Daily Lives
- 10 Minutes of Play Improves Children’s Performance
- Play Enhances the Progress of Early Development by 34%
The #PlayWithPurpose campaign is designed to support Save the Children’s early childhood development programs which help children in some of America’s most underserved communities thrive. To further assist families, Toys“R”Us will provide Save the Children with “play packs” filled with toys that build key skills and encourage socialization, along with informational materials to educate parents on the benefits of engaging with their children during play.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
First of all, you can encourage your own children to play more! (That shouldn’t be too difficult)! Toys R Us has some tips which might help:
You could also join us in the Twitter Chat on March 29th at 2pm EST and follow along with the #PlayWithPurpose hashtag! It will be a lot of fun and a great way to talk with other parents about the importance of play.
Of course, the best way to really help would be to visit ToysRUs/PlayWithPurpose and make a donation to help this worthy cause. All of the money raised will be used to support Save the Children’s early childhood development programs in some of America’s most underserviced communities.
So – what are you waiting for? Get out there and #PLAYWITHPURPOSE!