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The first time that Aiden and I participated in a community service event together was a very special time for me. It was around the holidays last year and we were invited to a Build-A-Bear Workshop Toys for Tots Holiday Giving Gather event. It was also the first holiday that I would spend as a single mother. And although his other parent was not present, I was determined to show Aiden that he can, in fact, be thankful for his blessings and even share those blessings with others in the spirit of giving.
It was after that magical event that I knew I wanted to participate in more community services events with Aiden. I want to start him off at a young age. After all, you're never too young to meet a need and extend a helping hand, right?
Aiden and I are so blessed to know such lovely people who make our lives full and complete, and if we can reciprocate that by paying it forward, then that's what we'll do. Since partaking in our first community service event, we have done so much more and have had such a great time doing it. Here are five of our fave ways to give back/ community services events:
1. Read Across America -- This event was absolutely fantastic because it appealed to Aiden and my love of literacy. Held at the New York Public Library, in honor of the National Educational Association (NEA), Target unveiled a 26-foot-tall installation on the steps of the library, which spelled the words, "read." After the celebrity-filled event was over, Target donated 25, 000 Dr. Seuss classics to New York City Public Schools. Sweetness.
2. Don't have 25, 000 books to donate? No problem! Books For Kids is a great organization that also appeals to a love of literacy. It is a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy among children and their mission is to create libraries, donate books, and partner with literacy programs to help young children develop critical early foundation and skills they need to be successful in life. Needless to say, I love this organization.
3. Last year, I cleaned out Aiden's closet and then my closet only to find that we had a lot of really great and gently used clothing items. What better way to count our blessings and pass on our cool fashion sense than to donate to Goodwill or our local YMCA? Because that's exactly what we did. And boy did it feel good!
4. Keeping in line with counting blessings, another way is to take part in a local food drive. Aiden and I have not participated in this together yet (I thought he was too young last year), but I am excited about illustrating to him the importance of not complaining when he's being a picky eater or when he doesn't want to eat leftovers. Just kidding. Sorta.
5. I absolutely love supporting companies that donate to people in need, like TOMS. TOMS' One For One Movement states that for every pair of TOMS purchased, they will donate a pair of new shoes to a child in need. Umm... doesn't get much better than this.
Aiden and I are far from rich, but all it takes is one little step to make a huge difference. We're trying to make a difference. We hope you are too.
Don't forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.