Thursday, July 15, 2010

77Kids Do Good Day ~ July 14, 2010

I have always wondered when would be the right time to introduce "charity" and "donating" to my kids (Jonah in particular, since he is now 3 years old).  In the past, I have tried to include him in the clearing out of toys and clothes, placing them in bins and garbage bags, and driving them over to our nearest Good Will.  But I'm not quite sure he gets it. I mean really, does a 3 year old boy "miss" the clothes he's outgrown? For the most part, no.  And the toys he never plays with anymore? He has since long forgotten about them.


So when I was asked to be a part of the 77Kids Chicago Do Good Team, in conjunction with The Motherhood, I thought to myself, "What better way to introduce the real meaning of Giving Back to Jonah other than with hands on experience?"

77Kids is a new line of kids clothing stores from the already awesome retailer, American Eagle.  I already love American Eagle clothing, so naturally, when I browsed the 77Kids website, I fell in love with their beachy, cool, and trendy clothes for my kids (and your kids too!). Is it okay for me to buy "Back to School" clothes for my kids, even if I'm homeschooling them? ;-)

And The Motherhood is a really informative website where Mom's gather to chat and discuss things they love and are passionate about. It's like virtually sitting around the table, sharing coffee and stories with Mom's, just like you.  They have Circles for TONS of things like  Photography, Get Organized, and Summer Reading are just a few to be named.  I have found myself spending my free moments perusing the site, joining all the circles that pertain to me. I'm sure ANY mom would find a few Circles she'd love to call her own. So please, check them out, join, and I'll see you there. I'll even bring the coffee!

For the 77Kids Do Good Day, the purpose was to take 11 mom bloggers, in 7 cities across the country (77 bloggers, get it?), and perform one HUGE organized day of "paying it forward".  They even sent each mom a box, full of goodies and t-shirts to help make the day fun for us and our kids!  I was naturally on Team Chicago which included other amazing bloggers such as:

and me of course!

We brainstormed a plan to see what we wanted to do for the community, and after much discussion, came up with donating our time and efforts to 2 local Ronald McDonald House's in the Chicago area. Our team visited the Hyde Park location, where we served lunch and made Thank You Cards for the staff of the house. Please check out everything that the Ronald McDonald House is doing, and consider donating yourself. Either your time, much needed items, or a monetary donation.  These organizations depend heavily on donations in order to provide what they do for the families of the kid's in the surrounding hospitals. Check here to see if there is a Ronald McDonald House near you.

We arrived at the house (me with Jonah and donated Dilly Bars from DQ in tow), and quickly set-up lunch so when the families arrived it would be all ready for them.  We were fortunate that the house had a pretty amazing playroom, complete with window's facing the kitchen and dining area, so we could do what we needed to do, but the little one's could play and keep occupied for the few hours we were there.

photo taken by Brandie

We also had a Thank You card station set up for the kids to make cards for the staff members of the house. Before we got a tour, the kids got to give their cards to the staff. Jonah had fun with that (even though he didn't make one before, he did go back and make one after the tour and personally handed it out himself ~ cute!)  

photo taken by Brandie

photo taken by Brandie

We were lucky enough to have enough leftover food for us all to eat. So Jonah sat with his new "friends", he was such a big boy once he got used to everyone. After lunch, we cleaned up (Jonah even helped me wash a few bowls), we headed out. 

But, the day wasn't done yet!

77Kids had also provided us with 77 one dollar bills, along with cute little notes with 7 ways to spend a dollar along with 7 ways to do something good for FREE. Our job was to hand these out in the community, however we see fit.  We decided to go to a local playground and hand them out there. And since it was SOOOOO hot, we had to cut our time short, but Jonah and I did get a chance to "hide" some of the dollar bills in areas on and around the playground, where some little kids were probably happily surprised! (I totally forgot about taking pictures, whoops! LOL)

All in all, it was an exciting (and exhausting) and heart-warming day.  Jonah and I got to spend some much deserved quality time together "doing something good" and teaching him the importance of giving back.  

photo taken by Brandie

Every day can be a "Do Good" day, so go on out and do something good! And come back here and tell me about it!

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