Bringing a smile to the face of another child or the smallest act of kindness could make a big difference. If you don’t know where to start, here are some ideas about doing something meaningful with your little one.
Children really look forward to celebrations whether it’s a birthday or a festival. While these milestones are fun & happy times for kids to be surrounded by friends, family and presents; it’s an opportunity to take a step back and take a broader look at our lives. A time to be grateful and thankful, for we’re able to provide our children well.
“One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.” ― Henry David Thoreau
At the same time, there are children in this city, who aren’t as fortunate. And sharing the joy of a family celebration with these children could make this occasion so much more meaningful. It’s one way to imbibe empathy in your own children towards those less fortunate than them. Just bringing a smile to the face of another child or the smallest act of kindness could make a lasting impact.
One can start with the children of your household help, an institution that’s closest to your home or reach out. Apart from this, NGOs & local organisations are fairly accessible if you want to get involved – some of whom I’ve contributed to previously and listed below for your reference.
If you don’t know where to start, here are some ways you can make a difference in spreading the joy:
1. Sponsor a special meal
You can sponsor a meal at a local government school on your child’s birthday or a festival. It could prove to be a refreshing break from the food served to them daily – a tasty and nutritional meal they can relish.
Suggested organisation: Peace Child India/ARIVU – Government Children Home, Bangalore Dairy Circle
Contact person: Bernadette | Contact no.: +91-9845014628
2. Spread a smile through some fun toys
Make a box of toys from your child’s collection that he’s outgrown. You can donate these toys to children at the closest slum. Previously, along with a few friends I have contributed towards a toy sharing drive for a school where toys were utilized for playtime and learning.
Suggested organisation: Dream School (Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA), HAL Second Stage
Contact person: Ms. Sheila | Contact no.: +91-9886199770
3. Share your time and handmade goodies
Nominate one day of the month as ‘sharing day’ where you can make something with your kid to share with others. It can be something as simple as baking a cake or a small hamper of cookies and juice. You can get your child to make greeting cards or crafty keepsakes and present them to the elderly at an old age home – letting them know that there are those who care.
Suggested organisation: Holy Family Home for the Aged, Nagavara, Hebbal
Contact person: Sister Annie Thomas | Contact no.: +91-9986057498
4. Host a fun event
There are a lot of NGOs doing commendable work with children, taking care of their day-to-day activities, food, health and education. However, these children seldom get the opportunity to experience something fun outside of their daily routine. You can spark an element of fun by organising a magic show, a visit to the cinema, a fun evening with a clown or balloon artist or even face-painting. I once organised a visit to the ‘Gemini Circus’ for one such group – it really turned out to be a very enjoyable outing for the kids.
Suggested organisation: Abilashrayam, Kodigehalli
Contact person: Ms. Aruna | Contact no.: +91-9008444443
5. Donate, fund or read books
A good place to start is at home by giving away story books or activity books to the children of your household help. You can also fund book packs to an individual student or donate to school libraries. Storytelling is another fun and interactive way to inspire the kids to express themselves creatively and freely. You can volunteer to read books at schools or NGOs in your locality.
Suggested organisation: Pratham Books Champions Program – encourages volunteers to conduct reading or storytelling sessions in their own cities/towns/villages
These are just some of organisations and institutions we know of and have interacted with. If you’ve worked with any other organisation or NGOs please do share if with us in the comment box below.