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Ways to Give Back with your Kids

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(Photo by HikingArtist.com, Flickr)

You can teach your children an important lesson about giving with these great ideas:

With the holidays around the corner, and the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, gift donations to those in need takes on even more meaning. Here are some great ways to get your children involved:

1. Give a Kid a Crayon. Small Factory Productions is asking you to drop off crayons and coloring books before December 1st. And if you donate 5 or more boxes of crayons, Small Factory will spread a little good cheer themselves and give you a free Kids Night Out Pass at their studio. Drop crayons and coloring books at Small Factory Productions, 560 River Road, Suite C, Fair Haven.

2. Donate Pajamas. The Pajama Program gives new pj’s and books to kids. Drop off new pajamas and books at Growing Tree Children’s Academy from now ’til Dec. 14th at 2414 Rt. 34 N., Wall, or at Poricy Park, 345 Oak Hill Rdl., Middletown.

3. Mix, Mingle & Sort with the Monmouth and Ocean County Food Bank. Head over to one of the Food Bank’s Mix, Mingle & Sort nights. You can mix with other volunteers, mingle, and sort food. Kids 13 and older can participate, too. The Food Bank is at 3300 Rt. 66 in Neptune. For times and dates for sorting, call 732-918-2600.

4. Mom, Dad, Kids….Join a Band! The Holiday Express band is made up of professional musicians who donate their time and talent. Holiday Express delivers music, food, gifts, and human kindness to adults and children in need. Musicians are all volunteers and are chosen based on their ability. Holiday Express produces hundreds of Holiday concerts at various facilities along with offering meals and gifts. OR…school age children can help put together the 15,000+ gift bags or collect gift items. Call to schedule a time to volunteer. Ages 10 – 18 years old. Located at 968 Shrewsbury Ave., Tinton Falls. 732-544-8010.

5. Project Linus. You are invited to create handmade blankets, large quilts, knitted or crochet hats, sweaters, baby bibs, children’s tote bags, infant booties, and soft fabric toys for children undergoing medical treatment or experiencing personal trauma. All styles (knit, crochet, and quilt) and sizes are welcome. And if you don’t sew, no-sew fleece blankets in single thickness are also welcome (make sure it’s machine washable, super soft to the skin, and appropriate for children.) Ship contributions inside a clear ziplock bag or white tall kitchen bag before placing in a shipping box to help them stay very fresh and clean and free from mildew or moisture during transport. Ship to: Project Linus NJ, Inc. – Blankie Depot, 79 Jackson St., Keyport, NJ 07735

6. Ronald McDonald House, Long Branch. The Ronald McDonald House provides a ‘home away from home’ for families whose children are undergoing treatment at Monmouth Medical Center. With a mission to help kids heal and keep kids healthy, the Ronald McDonald House in Long Branch would appreciate donations of items on their wish list in order to help support the families they serve. Everything from toiletries to flash drives, there are plenty of items to choose from on the list. Select and purchase items from the Long Branch House Wish list to purchase, and then donate them to Ronald McDonald House Long Branch, 131 Bath Ave., Long Branch, NJ 07740.

7. Kids for Kids Wishes, New Jersey. Make-A-Wish grants wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions in order to enrich their experience with hope and joy. There are some great ideas on how kids can raise their own donation money, including: Make-A-Wish Money Week - On monday, students donate their pennies; on Tuesday they donate nickets; on Wednesday they donate dimes; on Thursday they donate quarters; and on Friday they donate one-dollar bills; Sell Candy-Grams- For 50 cents or one dollar, students write messages to friends and teachers which are delivered during the day. Each message has a piece of candy attached. Sell Make-A-Wish star cutouts- You can make your own cutouts or get them from your Make-A-Wish chapter. Cutouts can be sold to students for $1 each. Students then write their names on them and display them on a school wall to show support.

For more ideas or further details on the above, visit www.HulaFrog.com

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