Kids Helping America


There are many ways your kids can help their country in these unsettled times. Here are a few ideas!

By Barbara Albright

 

If your kids want to help – and most are eager to do something to help the rescue effort and contribute to the spirit of America – there are ways they can.

For starters, kids of any age can wear red, white, and blue ribbons and patriotically decorated hats. They can hang flags on front porches and doors. If your family doesn’t own a flag, encourage your kids to make an artistic one to hang in the window.

Older kids can work with local agencies handing out flyers to promote a blood drive or raise money for the Red Cross or other legitimate agency.

Children can start a peace-making program by creating posters and writing poems that promote peace and tolerance in their schools and community. This would be a good project to discuss with a teacher, scout leader, or religious school teacher.

Many U.S. organizations and agencies have set up targeted ways all citizens can help with the recovery efforts. Following are some directed at children.

UNICEF
For 51 years, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF has worked to establish a children-to-children network to help young people in need. Through the "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" program, millions of Americans have helped UNICEF provide emergency services, relief, and counseling to children afflicted by violence and tragedy.

With a long tradition of kids helping kids, UNICEF has been relying on their Trick-or-Treat network to connect children and other people together in this crisis. If you want to send cards, drawings, letters or messages, the organization will help distribute them to children in need. Send them to:


U.S. Fund for UNICEF
"Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF - Kids Helping Kids"
333 East 38th Street
6th Floor
New York, New York, 10016
Web site: www.unicefusa.org

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation:
This foundation is coordinating messages of support for the injured and the families of the firefighters and emergency personnel who lost their lives at the World Trade Center. You can send these messages (cards and drawings from kids are great!) to them by fax, e-mail or regular mail to:

FDNY Families
c/o National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
PO Drawer 498
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
E-mail: firehero@erols.com
Fax: (301)447-1645
Web sites: www.firefighting.com; www.firehouse.com

Girl Scouts of the USA:
Anyone who wants to send a message, poem, or card to the many people who have mobilized in this tragedy to help others, such as the police, the firefighters, the EMT's, the hospital staff, and the many volunteers at the disaster sites in New York City, Washington D.C., or in the woods of Pennsylvania, send a note in care of GSUSA and they will deliver it to workers and volunteers:

Girl Scout Thank You
c/o Girl Scouts of the USA
420 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10018
Web site: www.gsusa.org

Boy Scouts of America:
The Boy Scouts feel that continued service to their communities is the best response to this tragedy. They urge all scouts to mobilize their unit to service in their community.

The boy scouts recommend seeking other groups to partner with in their efforts and to utilize any contacts with the media to build community awareness of and participation in projects.

The Boy Scouts recommend these service projects and remind everyone to be respectful of rights of other people.

  • Provide honor guards.
  • Assist as ushers for various civic services.
  • Distribute fliers for blood drives.
  • Sponsor food and clothing drives
  • Sponsor and participate in patriotic parades with veteran organizations.
  • Write letters to the editor in support of police, fire, EMS and other relief workers.
  • Sponsor uniform days for volunteers and youth members in school, work and places of worship.
  • Display and distribute flags in your community.

    For more information, contact:

    Boy Scouts of America National Office
    1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
    P.O. Box 152079, Irving, Texas 75015-2079
    (972) 580-2000
    Web sites: www.ctyankee.org
    www.bsa.scouting.org

    More Web Sites Kids Can Check Out
    Save the Children: www.youthNOISE.com
    American Girl: www.americangirl.com
    For patriotic and other crafts: www.makingfriends.com

    Everyone wants to help, and nurturing these instincts in our children is one of the best ways we can contribute the future of our world.