Posts tagged random act of kindness
Do we really need to educate our children on how to do social good?
Isn’t it more important they learn the basics like reading, math and science?
The research has been clear. Teaching your children to give will have lasting benefits including:
- Improved health
- Reduced stress
- Depression is reduce
- Increase in social well-being
- Increase in grade point averages
- Reduces Bullying
What if altruism could in fact be woven into the fabric of a students education without sacrificing other subjects that are vitally important? What if giving could be part of a teachers regular daily lesson plan?
Lindsay Story, teacher of a grade 2 class at Pauline Johnson School did just that by incorporating The 365give Challenge into her class this past week. Pauline Johnson has embrace the 365give Challenge over the past 5 weeks creating an environment of kindness and altruism at the school. Lindsay’s weekly journal of her classes daily giving will answer the question “How Do You Educate Students to Do Social Good?”
Our chance to participate in our first week of giving as part of the 365Give Challenge was fast approaching. We had been waiting in anticipation and cheering on other classes as they got the project up and running. The week of February 10th -14th was designated as our first week of giving. The students have been submitting ideas to the “Giving Jar” we created for weeks and we started to discuss which ideas might be the most feasible. Today we voted as a class to decide which “Gives” we’re going to do for our first of 2 weeks of giving. We tried to choose “Gives” that will benefit people, animals, and the environment, or a combination of all three!
Day 1: Personal Give
Monday was our Family Day holiday, the students were responsible for choosing a“Give” on their own, or with their family, to fulfil on that day. Some of the ideas students came up with were:
- walking a neighbour’s dog, or going to the SPCA to see if they could volunteer to walk one of the dogs.
- helping with household chores, cooking, grocery shopping, etc…without being asked!
- helping an elderly person in the family, or on the street, carry grocery bags or assist walking across the street etc.
The students were responsible for recording this “Give” with a photo to be sent in for The 365give Challenge book.
Day 2: Hay Park Clean-Up
The students were keen to pick up garbage in the school playground. Since the school playground has been cleaned up in previous 365give Challenge weeks, we thought we would try somewhere different. We walked from the school to Hay Park to pick up any garbage in our 2nd “Give” of the week. We chose this “Give” in order to benefit the local environment, animals, and community. We were pleased to find very little garbage in the park, but we had to stop quite a bit en route to and from the school in order to clean up the side walks and the streets.
World Cancer Day was on February 4th, and we have been touched by cancer in our class, so the students wanted to do something to help those fighting cancer. Kids with cancer spend a considerable amount of time in pajamas while undergoing treatment. PJs with a Purpose is a fun and educational event that allows students to help those kids. Today was another big success as we arrived at school wearing our pajamas for our 3rd “Give” of the week. The students did a great job of explaining to others in the hallways and on the playground why we were all dressed in our pajamas that day. We even had students make an announcement to the whole school over the PA system so the word spread quickly! PJs with a Purpose aims to build awareness around paediatric cancer, as well as funds and we did exactly that! At the end of the day we counted together all the money we raised and the students were pleased that we raised $112.50 for Team Finn. Our goal was to make it over $100 and we accomplished our goal!
Day 4: Healthy Biscuits for Animals in Need
Today was the 100th Day at school. We wanted to plan a “Give” that would incorporate our theme of 100! The students decided that together we could make 100 dog biscuits to be donated to a rescue centre in North Vancouver. It was the highlight of the day making our dog treats for the “Cross Our Paws Rescue Centre”. Once the kids started, they couldn’t stop, and in the end we counted 200 treats in all! We have made a few different flavours that we hope the dogs will enjoy – Terrific Turkey Stew, Scrumptious Sweet Potato, and Peanut Butter Pumpkin! We used our math skills as we measured the ingredients, and we were all involved in stirring and making the dough. Once the dough was ready, each student received a ball of dough to work with and the task of creating 5 biscuits. The students were very excited and they each made as many treats as possible. We have some hearts, stars, dog bones and some special surprises too. We’re pretty sure the rescued dogs will appreciate our hard work, but I think the students will also remember how much fun we had!
Day 5: Valentine’s Cards for Seniors
We all know that Friday February 14th is Valentine’s Day so it only makes sense that we plan our “Give” around this special day. I got the sense that the students were most thrilled about our trip to the West Vancouver Senior Centre to hand out our handmade Valentine’s Day cards and some chocolates as our final “Give” for this first week of The 365Give Challenge. The kids sang on the way down to the centre and I could tell that we were all full of happiness as we embarked upon our last “Give” of the week. The students entered the centre respectfully and walked around looking for a senior to present a card or chocolate to. I have never seen a group of people so thrilled to receive us, their faces lit up with big smiles, and many wanted to pass on a hug in return. The students had expressed a strong desire to do something that would benefit the seniors in our community, and I have no doubt that we hit the jackpot! We met friends who were playing card games, and others who were watching the Olympics. We met a group of men who were playing pool, and a group of women who were creating beautiful quilts. The students passed out their cards and their chocolates to different strangers and wished them a “Joyeux Saint Valentin” and a “Happy Valentine’s Day”. Many students were keen to continue introducing themselves even after their cards and chocolates were given away, and some asked to have their picture taken. The whole experience truly warmed my heart and many of the students expressed that this was their favourite “Give” of the week. One little one expressed that we had saved the best for last, and I can’t help but agree!
I hope that you all have enjoyed hearing about our 365give journey as much as we have enjoyed planning, preparing, and carrying out our “Gives”. I have felt a tremendous sense of community in the class as we have all worked together to accomplish our goals. It has also been a pleasure to witness students thinking about people, animals, and the environment, with more compassion and empathy. I hope that you have also seen this in your child at home! I think it’s safe to say that we’re all looking forward to our next special week of giving with The 365Give Challenge!
A very special thank you to Lindsey and her class for making such a
positive impact on the world. You week of giving was truly inspiring.
‘Tis the season to give but not all of us have the means to make cash donations to our favourite charities. What if instead of giving cash you did one “good deed” every day between now and Christmas. My friend Alex of @Good_Indeed on Twitter has done just that – committed to one good deed every day for 365 days, tweeting his good deed each day.
He is on day 317 of 365 days of good deeds and 365give got his very personal Top 10 favourite ways to inspire you to “do good” every day.
Guest Post by Alex D @Good_Indeed
- The same way a dirty look or a disrespectful gesture can spoil our day and contribute to our bitterness;
- The same way a smile or a helping hand can make a world of a difference and help us get closer to one another.
- Top 10 list of Good Deeds
- Day 3: Collected used batteries from my neighbours for proper recycling. Got to know them better and helped the environment. Double bonus!
- Day16: Now save energy by lowering the thermostat & unpluging evil phantom loads before I go out or go to sleep.
- Day38: Volunteered to teach in friend’s high school. Spoke about opportunities in the solar industry. Great group of kids!
- Day49: Sent nice greeting card to a stranger I randomly picked out of the phone book. #RandomActsOfKindess
- Day126: Performed at concert organized by the Harold Napper School to raise funds for Japanese disaster victims.
- Day155: Traded our Toyota for the pleasures of a nice BMW (Bus, Metro, Walk). It’s the beginning of a new, greener lifestyle.
- Day175: Prevented teenager from hurting his girlfriend. We can all help stop violence in teen couples…It starts with education.
- Day283: Bought coffee for the people behind me at the drive through. The look on their faces was priceless.
- Day287: Had long chat with a homeless man and bought him lunch. Poor guy lived from pay-check to pay-check. Lost it all when he lost his job.
- Day301: Raised $440 in 36 hours for children without a voice, as part of Free the Children’s Vow of Silence campaign.
Not every give has to be for a not for a not for profit organization, person in need, or animal suffering. Giving can be as simple as passing on an item you no longer need to someone who will truly appreciate it. It becomes the double give – reusing to help the planet and giving to a person that will be in full appreciation of what you are passing along.
Day 357: Give 357 Guest Give by Nicola Inwood
Books can be a great give every single time.
My boyfriend is a publisher. Bless his heart, and I feel blessed for more than the fact that he is a publisher, I have an endless supply of books that are at my finger tips. As an avid reader (thanks Dad) and lover of stories and peoples perspectives, I have to say I feel like I am the luckiest woman in the world having access to so many different titles, authors and interesting topics.
The Eco-Friendly Home
A few years ago I was researching and reading about building a healthy home. I have 4 books in my library about environmental living, tips and tricks for changing how you live in your space to make it healthier, better for the environment and most of all inexpensive ways that you can accomplish this goal. I read through them and implemented many of the suggested strategies and held onto the books in case I needed to refer to the information again.
In my fall clean up, I had put aside a number of books that I was going to donate to the local library, a regular trip that I like to make as the local libraries where I live in Mexico have few English books on their shelves. The books on building a healthy home were added to the pile as I felt that I had benefited as much as I could from them. They were destined for public consumption and was going to be part of my monthly gives.
The Opportunity to Give
But sometimes giving opportunities present themselves and one did this week that made me smile. When you put out the intention of giving, and think that we have the perfect give, a better one comes up and this week, the books went to another home, not the library.
I have a natural health clinic that I use here in Mexico. It is a group of passionate and compassionate doctors and nurses that combine mainstream and alternative medical practices in their treatments. I have been going to the clinic for years as I use acupuncture as a maintenance program for my overall general health. This group of doctors provide great services to the public but are also very active as volunteers to provide services and educate the community on alternative health care options in the 21st century.
One of my doctors at the clinic had mentioned that they had bought a new house and was excited about building their organic garden, seeking out alternative building practices and was wanted to use as many environmental practices in the cleaning and maintenance of the home as she could. As a young doctor it was great to see her enthusiasm.
My give of the day presented itself. The healthy home books had found its new owner/reader!
At my next appt I gave my doctor her new books. Though the books are in English (she speaks about 4 languages) she was so happy to have the new books to help her on her mission. I was thrilled to pass the books forward and put them directly into the hands that could use them the most.
In your fall clean up, put out the intention to donate or give away items that you no longer use and you will be surprised how quickly the gives just…present themselves. The other books did go to the library, but I was thrilled to give this series a new home with a woman who creates health everyday in her community.
Time Commitment: 5 minutes