Crafting for charity
Cereal, flash drives, gift cards and stuffed animals for troops to hand out to kids are examples of what to add to care packages for troops abroad through Operation Gratitude. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 13, 2012 12:46PM
Celebrate the season of giving with kid-friendly crafts and activities that put the happy in “happy holidays.”
Hurricane Sandy Relief Jars
Help those affected by Sandy by making “Sandy Jars” that can be used to collect relief effort funds.
Recycled jars (washed with labels removed)
Wrap jar from top to bottom with double-stick tape.
Slowly dip jar into a pile of colored sand. As you move up the jar you can also use a spoon to pour the sand directly onto jar. Continue until jar is completely decorated.
Bring jars to local stores, movie theaters, restaurants, etc., and ask them to display the jars near their cash registers with a note asking customers to donate change. Once jars are full you can send the funds to a number of relief organizations including The American Red Cross (www.redcross.org) and The Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation (www.sandyrelief.org).
Adopt a Grandparent
The holidays are a magical time for most families but for others, especially those in the over 65 age range, they can be quite painful. According to Geriatric Mental Health Foundation (www.gmhfonline.org), the holidays can lead to depression in older individuals as they are more acutely aware of the passing of time and the loss of loved ones. To make matters worse, traveling to see family is sometimes out of the question due to health or financial constraints. To brighten the day of these individuals, consider adopting a grandparent at a local retirement community. Talk to your kids about decorations they can make including holiday cards and seasonal artwork. You can also make sweet octopus dolls that are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Book (at least 10 inches tall on one side)
Buttons (for eyes)
Strong adhesive (such as tacky glue)
Make a thick yarn loop by wrapping yarn around a book. (Aim to wrap the book about 75 to 100 times).
Slide the yarn loop off the book and tie a ribbon about 3 inches from the top (to make the octopus head).
Cut the bottom of the yarn loop and divide the strings into 8 tentacles.
Braid each tentacle and secure with a ribbon. Add eyes with buttons and strong adhesive.
Care Package for Troops
What better way to thank our troops than by sending them care packages? Ask your kids to help collect items for the troops which range from computer flash drives and CDs to dry cereal, cans of tuna and even Beanie Babies. For more information, including the troops’ wish list and mailing addresses, visit www.operationgratitude.com.
Feed the Hungry
Get smart while you feed the hungry by visiting www.freerice.com. The question and answer site run by the United Nations World Food Programme and is funded by sponsors who donate 10 grains of rice for every question answered correctly. Subjects range from vocabulary building and SAT prep to geography, chemistry and famous quotes. Answering the questions is a great activity to do on your own or turn it into a game your whole family can play.~.
Do you craft for a specific charity? Post us a comment on our PioneerPressGo facebook page at www.facebook.com/PioneerPressGo. We’d love to hear from you!