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Kids Helping Kidzeum
May 27, 2014 4:45 PM

The next time your child is invited to celebrate the birthday of a close friend or family member, think about choosing birthday gifts that give back.  There are many ways to support awesome charities and organizations when you go to purchase a present.   

A growing trend in birthday parties is for hosts to ask for birthday donations in lieu of material gifts.  You can specify a particular cause or organization that is important to your child.  This simple act of charity will sets a good example for your kids to think of issues bigger then themselves and to help their community or those less fortunate. 

The word “volunteering” may not make much sense to your young child, but even children as young as three can learn the value of helping people and places in need. Now is the time to start a lifelong commitment to giving, not only during the holiday season but also year round.  “Two thirds of youths who volunteer become active adults who contribute or volunteer,” says Tanisha Smith, national director of volunteer services fro Volunteers of America. 

Kids from across the state of Illinois have been making a difference and selflessly helping Kidzeum raise funds needed to open our doors in summer of 2015.  Jackson Schaller from Rochester on his 8th birthday encouraged his entire family to forgo gifts and instead donated to Kidzeum.  Jackson and his family raised $500.  “It is awesome that I will see my name on a plaque and that I helped make Kidzeum happen”, says Jackson. 

The 2013-second grade classes at Iles Elementary sacrificed their allowances for an entire month and made a group contribution to show the power of pulling their resources together to make a difference. 

The Sadie (age 4) and Marin Rose (age 1) from family the Malecki family in Oak Park, IL is learning at a very early age to give selflessly and to support projects that are important to them.  Both girls have sacrificed their birthday gifts in exchange for contributions to the Kidzeum.  "For our daughters' birthdays this year, we decided to ask friends and family to donate to a charity in our daughters' names instead of giving gifts.  Our girls are very fortunate and we wanted to use their birthdays as an opportunity to teach them about giving back to the community, instead of just getting "stuff" for themselves. And I think it was a huge success.  My older daughter was so proud about helping the Kidzeum -- along with a couple of other charities of her choosing (we let the guests pick which charity to donate to).  It is definitely something we are going to continue to do in the future”, says Amanda Sonneborn, mother of Sadie and Marin. 

If your kids can’t quite give up their birthday gifts (which, come on, is a really hard thing to do!) there are other things they can do with other kids or together as a family. Lemonade stands, car washes, collecting coins all summer, collect art supplies for Kidzeum programs, encourage their parents to host a “Blue Jean Dress Down Day” at their work places or volunteer at their favorite charity. 
 

Kidzeum leadership is proud that the excitement of raising funds for Kidzeum has trickled down to the source that will gain the most from Kidzeum coming to fruition.  Kids are why we are doing this in the first place! If your family would like to contribute to Kidzeum or would like to volunteer, please visit www.kidzeum.org or email info@kidzeum.org


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