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Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Craft Project For Kids!

Now that summer vacation is here moms all over the country are wondering...

What in the world am I going to do with these kids for the next three months?!

On top of the usual summertime fun activities I received an email with an idea that will get the kids involved and thinking about other children around the country and the world who are struggling through economic hardships, natural disasters or political conflicts.

Personally, my heart goes out to these children but I don't always know the best way to get my own kids involved in helping them. I want my kids' hearts to connect with these little ones in need and to feel like they really did something to help.

In addition to giving money (most younger kids don't really understand the value of it yet), they can also send a Comfort Critter with a personal message through Operation Kid-to-Kid.

Here's how it works:

First, go to the Operation Kid-to-Kid website and read more about the program. The Comfort Critters go along with a whole Crocodile Dock VBS program (and they offer other programs as well). But lets not get overwhelmed!

OK2K suggests you get two Comfort Critters for each child to give away and one to keep. When you order the "God Cares" turtle you will get 10 pairs of them, enough for 10 children to have one to give away and one to keep. The pack of 20 turtles runs $17.99. So feel free to split it with other families or use in a Sunday school class.

The kids stuff the turtles (no sewing involved) and there is a pocket on each turtle for the kids to send their own personal message to the child receiving the turtle. Then send the turtles back to the address provided and they will get distributed to the children in need. OK2K also suggests sending a Survivor Booklet ($0.79 each) along with each Critter.

Of course you can adapt the critters project and use them for local community service or outreach.

A little more FYI:

What is Operation Kid-to-Kid?

Operation Kid-to-Kid™ is a partnership of Group Publishing, Inc. and nondenominational Christian organizations dedicated to creating hands-on service projects for children in North America. Operation Kid-to-Kid™ projects have ministered to kids all over the world. Over the years, Group’s Operation Kid-to-Kid™ has become one of the largest forces mobilizing children in serving other children around the world. Millions have been impacted with gifts of comfort critters, school supplies, Bibles, hygiene kits, Christmas gifts, Bible coloring books, and socks and shoes. Operation Kid-to-Kid™ gives children a meaningful service project that will change their hearts as they help change the world.

What is a Comfort Critter and why are they effective?

Comfort Critters are adorable, easy-to-assemble crafts designed especially for kids to make and receive. This year’s special critter is a cuddly little turtle that reads “God Cares” and features a pocket so each child can include a special message to another child in need.

Children learn by doing. While activities like collecting spare change definitely serve a good purpose, it’s hard for young children, who don’t really understand the value of money yet, to understand how the money they collect will minister to other children. But all children know what it’s like to be scared or lonely. They know how a teddy bear, stuffed animal, or blankie makes them feel better. As they use their own hands to make these little turtles, they are creating personal, tangible expressions of compassion. The handy sewn in pocket gives them the opportunity to send a message from their own hearts. And because they make two turtles—one to give away and one to keep—they will have a touchable reminder that other children are struggling and in need of compassion and comfort.

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