Following is a guest post from Roger Vest, Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Chatsworth. Over the past couple of years they have hosted several Time 2 $ave couponing workshops. I have always been impressed with their incredible commitment to feed hungry children in their community.
Exciting news – we are up for a Walmart grant and you can help us win! As part of their Fighting Hunger Together initiative, Walmart is giving out $3 million in grants for the most innovative and effective programs that help alleviate child hunger. First United Methodist Church of Chatsworth is in the running to win one of 100 grants, but we need your help to win! The more votes we can get, the better chance we have of winning a $20,000 grant from Walmart. The funds will be used to support Murray County Saturday Sacks! Every dollar will be used to purchase food for our Saturday Sacks which are delivered weekly to more than 1,000 children across Murray County. Just $2 will deliver a Saturday Sack to a child at school on Friday. That means $20,000 will deliver 10,000 Saturday Sacks to make sure that every elementary aged child in our community has enough to eat. Every child, regardless of circumstance deserves a healthy start. With your vote, we can make that happen for EVERY child in Murray County. [Read more...]
How do you teach your children generosity, kindness, and compassion? I believe, to teach my children to be givers I’ve got to live out that example. My father was the greatest giver I’ve ever known, he never sat me down and said, “Kasey this is how you give, or this is what giving looks like.” Instead, I watched his life. I saw him taking groceries to people in need; I was in the car, when he stopped on the side of the road to help an elderly lady who had fallen while she was walking home. I saw my mom and dad fill up their trunk with wrapped Christmas gifts to take to a family less fortunate than ours. As a result, I see how important it is to live out his legacy with my children. Not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but all year long.
What does that look like in my family? We purposefully by items that are cheap or free when we go to the grocery store to put in our giving box. When our box is full, we go together to donate the item’s we’ve been collecting. We are intentional at birthday’s and other special times of the year to teach our children to clean out their toys to make sure that we are in the habit of giving to others and not collecting too much “stuff.” We participate every time we have an opportunity to give at our church, or through sports organizations. Last year, the town I live in was devastated by tornadoes, my children took their own money and bought toys to donate to children who had lost everything in the storms.
We also sponsor a child, through Operation Compassion named Tinsel. Tinsel lives in Ethiopia, my children write her letters and color pictures for her. We receive letters from Tinsel several times a year as well updating us on what is going on in her life. We talk about the conditions that Tinsel lives in, and how different it would be to grow up in Ethiopia. It’s become a very real way for them to grasp in their minds how blessed they are.
Every year at Christmas we pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We go shopping together, and talk about what this box will mean for the child that receives it. We always pack at least two boxes, one for a little girl about the same age as my daughter, and another for a little boy close to my son’s age. I love sitting back and watching them carefully pick out items for their shoe box or ask questions like,” Mommy, do you think she loves Hello Kitty like me”? As they participate, the children that we are buying for become real in their hearts and mind not just a concept. This year as we were shopping my daughter stopped me and said, “Mommy, I know that getting a gift is cool, but it feels so much better to give. I love it”! Wow – so proud of my baby girl!
What about you? How do you teach your children about generosity, kindness, and compassion?
This week is National Collection week for Operation Christmas Child, a nonprofit that distributes millions of shoe boxes for children in need. I’d love for you to join in! I’ve included the directions below for how to pack a box. Gifts are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
- Click here for details about how to pack a shoe box.
- Click here to find the closest drop-off location during you and drop off your box during OCC’s National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19, 2012.
This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.
BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.
Over the past couple of months I have posted about the ConAgra Foods Child Hunger Ends Here campaign several times. It’s honorable when a brand steps up to help end and raise awareness of child hunger. Nationwide 1 in 5 children are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. If you missed any of my previous posts here’s a link to two of my favorites here, and here.
As I was reaching in the pantry tonight to gather ingredients to make homemade salsa and chicken fajitas (YUMMY- I’ll post pics and the recipe soon) I realized I still had a couple of cans of Hunt’s products with the push pen logo and code that I had not entered. GASP – I Can’t believe I forgot! I could have kicked myself, as the deadline to enter codes ends on August 31, 2012. I had four cans in my pantry which means I almost missed out on the opportunity to help ConAgra donate 4 meals. I figured if I had cans still in my pantry and I’m a Child Hunger Ends Here Ambassador then there is a good chance that some of ya’ll do too. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to miss this super easy opportunity to feed a hungry child.
So…….real quick, take a break and run in the kitchen and glance over your canned food and frozen items. Look for the pushpin logo (see my pantry above) and code on the back/side. If you find any cans or frozen items still lurking around grab them and bring them back to your computer. Go to the Child Hunger Ends Here site here and look for the image below to enter your code/s. It’s that simple; for every code you enter ConAgra donates one meal.
You’ll get to download the song “Here’s Hope” preformed by Jewel, Owl City or Jay Sean each time you enter a code from a participating ConAgra product. Thanks so much ya’ll! I feel so blessed that our Time 2 $ave Community has such an amazing heart to give and make a difference in the lives of others. .
Again, don’t forget to enter all of the 8-digit codes found on the back and sides of specially marked packages at ChildHungerEndsHere.com
Recently, Owl City rallied their followers to help raise awareness of child hunger by asking, “What surprises you about child hunger?” ConAgra Foods asked their facebook fans to post photos in response to Owl City’s question. Check out the video above of the photos and comments that were submitted.
I am a blogger correspondent for ConAgra’s Child Hunger Ends Here campaign. Opinions and experiences shared here are my own.
School is out, and it’s officially S U M M E R T I M E! Many of us are planning vacation getaways with our families and other fun family activities. It’s so easy to get busy and forget about needs around us, especially since daily school routine has been interrupted with promises of summertime fun. In reality, during the summer months free and discounted school lunches are gone. Therefore, the number of children are food insecure is even greater.
This summer, approximately 18 million children will face a greater risk of hunger while they’re out of school. During the school year, almost 21 million children depend on free or reduced-price school meals to help keep them from going hungry. But only 2.3 million children are enrolled in similar summer meal programs.1
The past couple of months, I have posted several times about the ConAgra Foods Child Hunger Ends Here campaign as one of their blogger ambassadors. I’ve include links below to a couple of my favorite posts! Remember, all you have to do is enter the codes on the back of participating ConAgra products online and ConAgra will donate a meal.
All you have to do is enter the codes on the back of participating ConAgra products online and ConAgra will donate a meal. If you have codes that you haven’t entered yet you’ve still got time! Codes will be accepted up to a maximum of 3 million meal donations or until 8/31/2012
You can make a difference by purchasing participating ConAgra products at your local grocery store. Look for the push pin logo, and enter the code online at Child Hunger Ends Here. For every code entered, ConAgra will donate the equivalent of one meal. You can also follow the discussion at www.facebook.com/ConAgraFoods, or tweet along by following www.twitter.com/ConAgraFoods and using #ChildHunger.
Last week, The Cleveland Daily Banner featured an article about our involvement as a blog ambassador with ConAgra Foods and the Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign. Ya’ll know we are passionate about giving to others, especially since couponing affords us the opportunity to “Save Big so we can Give Bigger.”
I always knew there were needs in my community, however since I have been involved in the Child Hunger Ends Here campaign my eyes have been opened. Nationwide, 1 in 5 children are food insecure meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. In my county, the need is even greater 1 in 3 children.
Wow. 1 in 3 children where I live don’t know where their next meal is coming from?
I can’t imagine, my son wants a snack between snacks……….
Not only do I think it’s important to include my kids each time we pick out an item to donate, I think it’s important that they know someone sitting right next to them may not know where their next meal is coming from.
I want them to learn empathy, and the importance of looking beyond themselves to see the needs of others. If I don’t teach them, their view will be based on what they see with their eyes. To them, hunger and needy will be those on the side of the interstate holding a sign. It will be the homeless, laying down on a park bench.
Reality. 1 in 3 children where my children play, go to church, participate in sports, etc. are hungry. It’s up to me to teach them, it’s up to me to show them what compassion for others looks like, it’s up to me to show them we can help, we can make a difference.
How? It starts with awareness. I challenge you, to talk to your kids about child hunger. Don’t know where to start? Find out what the stats are in your community. Educate yourself.
Did you know……..
Children who struggle with hunger face additional problems, such as:
- Slower growth and inhibited brain development
- More illnesses, including stomachaches, headaches, colds, ear infections and fatigue
- Greater susceptibility to obesity and its harmful health consequences
- Lower concentration and alertness in school
- Lower academic achievement
Stats – from Consequenses of Child Hunger
Here’s how to find the child hunger stats in your county:
- Click here, then look for the image above – click “See how many children are affected in your county.”
- Click your state to see the overall stats. I live in TN – 17.6% of children are food insecure. Right around the corner in GA 19.9% are food insecure.
- Hover your mouse over the county you live in, talk to your kids about this number.
You can make a difference by purchasing participating ConAgra products at your local grocery store. Look for the push pin logo, and enter the code online at Child Hunger Ends Here. For every code entered, ConAgra will donate the equivalent of one meal. Codes will be accepted up to a maximum of 3 million meal donations or until 8/31/2012. If you missed our previous post about Child Hunger Ends Here click the following links here and here.
I am a blogger correspondent for ConAgra’s Child Hunger Ends Here campaign. Opinions and experiences shared here are my own.
Jamie and I recently attended Blissdom, a blogging conference in Nashville. While there we made a great connection with ConAgra Foods. ConAgra felt that our message of balanced couponing and becoming a purposeful giver resonated with so many people. After all, successful couponing doesn’t have to come at the expense of our lives. The goal is to bring financial relief to our family’s finances. Then, out of our new found abundance, we have the privilege to give into the lives of others!
When we got home, ConAgra invited me to be a Blogger Ambassador for their Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign! (SO excited!! Can’t even tell you what a surprise) I boarded a plan the next week for a trip to Los Angeles for the kickoff of the Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign. It was an amazing experience, I’m proud to be a part of this program. When a brand steps up, like ConAgra to use it’s influence to maker a difference (to the tune of providing the equivalent of 3 million meals to hungry children) I for one take notice.
In case you missed our first post about Child Hunger Ends Here jump over here – we’ve provided links to videos with more information.
To kick off the campaign we toured the facilities at the LA Regional Food bank. We had the incredible opportunity to meet and interview singer/songwriter Jewel.
My favorite event of the day was helping stuff backpacks full of food. These backpacks are given to school aged children who otherwise may not eat over the weekend. It’s hard to imagine…many children would go hungry on the weekends if they weren’t provided backpacks.
Here’s the girls and I stuffing backpacks. Every tub had two backpacks that we stuffed so full they would hardly zip. These girls were so much fun to hang out with, I was so sad our time together didn’t last longer.
Jewel was a trooper – she jumped in and helped us after her interviews.
If you haven’t heard her personal story you’ll be shocked to hear she was once homeless. You can hear her story here. Jewel grew up poor, and has faced the same food insecurities that 1 in 5 American children face today.
Once you enter your code, you’ll get to download the song “Here’s Hope” each time you enter a code from a participating ConAgra product. To hear the “Here’s Hope” song and to learn more about how to become involved in the Child Hunger Ends Here campaign, you can visit their website.
“Here’s Hope” performed by Jewel, Owl City or Jay Sean – your choice! The more codes that you redeem, the more exclusive content you’ll be able to access.
Child Hunger Did You Know??
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food insecurity or the inability to access
enough food to live active, healthy lives affects more than 16 million children in the United
- By comparison, the number of kids who struggle with hunger every year is the same as the total populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston combined.
Children don’t need to be starving or homeless to struggle with hunger. Many children are
simply missing a meal or not eating on a regular basis.