For this week’s kindness project, we focused on making #GivingTuesday a family affair and decided to give back to our community in two ways.
First, over Thanksgiving weekend, we cleaned out our closets and drawers and got a lot of stuff together that we wanted to donate. We went through clothes, books, toys and other household items. We talked about how it was important to donate things that we aren’t using so that it could help someone else who may need it. Our 5-year old helped identify things that she was ready to part with, and we each piled up our respective items, packed them up and then drove them over to a local Goodwill.
Second, we decided that we would each pick a cause we cared about and donate to a charity that was helping that cause. I had to first step back and explain to my older daughter what a “cause” was and what a “charity” was. After a quick run-through, she generally understood what we were trying to do as a family. It was really neat to talk about the different causes together and why we were picking them. We may have started a new #GivingTuesday family tradition.
Here are the 4 causes we chose to donate to and why:
- Charity: Water: A close friend recently told me about an incredibly inspiring cause, where one individual, Scott Harrison, has set out to solve the water crisis in the world by bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. There’s 663 million people in the world who live without clean water, which is almost 1 in 10 people worldwide. Providing access to clean water can not only improve health conditions, but could permit people in these countries to go to school or work instead of spending several hours each day trying to fetch water. I decided to pick this charity for my #GivingTuesday donation. Check out this video to learn more about this amazing cause.
2. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): My husband decided that he would like to donate to a cause focused on protecting individual rights. We talked about several organizations, but then thought that the American Civil Liberties Union would be the right fit given its focus on defending a number of different issues including LGBT rights, Reproductive Freedom and Religious Liberty, which are all things that were important to him.
3. Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF): For my 5-year old’s charity, we picked the Animal Rescue Foundation. My husband recently took her on a daddy-daughter date to the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) so she spent some time at the shelter. She also has recently expressed that she is interested in cats. We don’t have cats, but somehow this is a newfound interest, and we knew that ARF helped cats and fostered the bond between animals and humans. We decided to donate specifically to the Pet Hug Pack program, which is focused on pet-assisted comfort for people in need.
4. World Wildlife Fund (WWF): For my 2-year old, we decided we would pick something on her behalf based on what she liked to do. My 5-year old suggested that we find a cause focused on kangaroos or bunnies because her little sister loves to jump so much, and my husband suggested something related to brown bears because she is obsessed with the book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear.” We ended up going with the World Wildlife Fund, as it can support several different species and decided to adopt a grizzly bear. With our symbolic adoption, we got the grizzly bear adoption kit so that our younger daughter would have a small “brown bear” memento in honor of her favorite book. Here’s a video describing what WWF is focused on.