New Year, New Viewby Nicole Rudisill
New Year, New View
By: Nicole Rudisill - Kids Style Magazine Editor
I think we can all agree that 2020 is not what anyone was expecting or hoping for a year ago at this time. We all have our own traditions to bring in the New Year with to make way for health, positivity, good fortune, prosperity and more. But does anyone ever look beyond the fun superstitions and really consider how they can contribute positively to their own community and families? Do we ever try to consider what someone else’s perspective or hardships might be and how they might differ from our own? This year let's strive to help our community and show our littles by example how to show kindness and compassion to the world around us.
These are some great ways that you can include your kids in spreading love, kindness and positivity in the new year!
1. Donate old toys: As a teacher I see a lot of families struggling and we do offer Christmas help through different programs to specific families, but what about birthdays, age milestones for younger children not in school yet and house damage such as fires? I always see on the moms facebook page I’m in for my town how there are so many families in need year round, and it would be so easy to connect with one of them to donate old toys. Have your kids go through themselves and make a box of toys that they no longer play with and think another kid would enjoy having. You can find a church, a youth center, daycares, or connect with someone in your town or even in your neighborhood to offer the items to.
2. Donate food items: Have your kids go through the pantry with you looking for non-perishable and canned foods that maybe you can spare, or have extra of, and box it up. You can also go to the grocery store and have them help you pick out similar items to donate as well. These items can go to food pantries, churches, women help centers, or you can connect with someone local that might be struggling and doesn’t know where to go.
3. Volunteer with animals: There are so many rescues and dog shelters around that are always in need of extra hands to walk and feed the dogs. This is a great and contact free way to get your kids out of the house and get some good puppy love! When we adopted our dog from a rescue we learned about how it’s completely volunteer run and relies on people to come out and walk the dogs twice a day for their exercise. This is also a great way to search for the type or breed of dog you might be looking to adopt down the road. We were able to walk many dogs and get to know them all, we ultimately decided to adopt a larger german shepherd/bloodhound mix that had been in several kill shelters and had been at the rescue for quite some time because of his size and the fact that he was almost impossible to walk from the pulling at first. We were able to walk him daily and work with him for weeks though and let him get to know our 1yr at the time daughter, it was very very important to us that we felt comfortable with his reactions to her as well.
4. Trash pick up on your street: If you are like me and live in a very populated neighborhood, there is probably trash all over the place from littering out of the car, kids leaving it at the hangout spots or trash flying out on trash day. Put together a neighborhood trash pickup day, or just walk around with your kids and gather what you can. This will help teach them to respect the earth and their own and other peoples properties. You could also start a compost and recycling bin if you have space in your yard and recycling pickup or drop off locations and show the kids how and what can be added to the compost pile versus what can be recycled.
5. Pay it forward: Next time you hit the drive through or go out to a restaurant and you feel like you have a little extra that week, pay for the car behind you or pay for part of a family’s bill that you might notice. Explain to your kids why you want to show kindness to that car or that family. You never know what someone else is going through, and I truly believe that we are all put in places to help others when they are in need, even if we don’t know what that need is yet.
6. First Responders Support: Drop off store bought or take out food to first responder facilities, you could also include gift cards, desserts, candy and other goodies you think they might like. The kids can make thank you cards or draw and color them pictures as well. Our first responders are working hard, putting in overtime and trying to keep us all safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.
Those are just a few ways to spread positivity, but do what works for you! All communities are different and in need of different assistance that you can include the kids in as well. What goes around always comes back around, so always try to use kind words, see things from the other person’s perspective, respect a difference of opinion and never diminish someone else's anxiety or feelings even though you might not understand them. It’s a scary world out there, but we can make it a little better with each interaction we have even if it is behind a mask.
From our family to yours, we wish you a Happy New Year full of good health and happiness!