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One way our family tries to help make the world a better place is through random acts of kindness. These small deeds can go a long way to setting a more positive and peaceful environment. However, we also enjoy finding ways that we can give some of our resources to benefit others.
This post on Helping Others Through Small Sacrifices is part of a campaign with Women Online for the Heifer School Milk Feeding Program. Images and infographic are from Heifer International. All opinions are my own.
Teaching Your Kids About Helping Others
Holding the door for someone.
Helping carry bags of groceries.
These are all simple acts of kindness that my boys have been doing for a while now.
Kindness never goes out of style and sometimes you get to see an immediate response of gratitude from the recipient.
But there are people suffering where more is needed. There are children across the globe who go to bed hungry and uncertain when their next meal will be.
Anywhere you go you can find families without a home. There are children who go to bed hungry and uncertain when their next meal will be. Without the basic needs all humans have (shelter, food, and water), these people often live in a state of anxiety and fear.
Talking About Hunger with Your Children
Have your kids ever said “Mom, I’m starrrrvvving!” to you?
I hear it several times a week from my boys. And, they are never truly starving!
After a recent plea for food when I knew it was from boredom and not hunger, I had a chat with my youngest son.
“Hey, J. Can you tell me why you think you are hungry?”
“Well, I haven’t had anything to eat for more than an hour and I really want something.”
“I have some apples and carrots in the fridge if you’d like a few slices.”
“No. I don’t want that. Can I have some of those cookies in the cupboard?”
Ah… a perfect parenting moment to talk about what real hunger is and how there are kids truly hungry in the world!
Now, the challenge is to not seem preachy. Rather, I want my boys to arrive at the conclusion they have a very blessed life on their own.
“So, what does your belly feel like right now?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, is it making tons of noise? Do you feel like it is totally empty?”
“I don’t know. My belly makes noises sometimes, but I don’t think it feels empty.”
“Can you tell me what it would feel like to be really hungry?”
“In the morning, I always have a grumbling stomach that won’t be quiet until I feed it.”
“So, is there ever a time when you can not have something to eat when your tummy grumbles?”
“No, we always have food around. If I can’t find something I like, I just keep looking.”
Milk as a Nutritious Beverage of Choice
So we talked about some of his favorite things to eat and drink. Milk is one of those items and something we constantly have in the house. Knowing this, I am now able to share only how milk can be nourishing to a growing child. But, I can also talk about how there are people who can’t afford to go to the store and buy it.
Going to school is something that gets a lot of chat time these days. He is eager to have that experience like his older brothers had. Yet, it isn’t happening at the moment.
Part of what we talk about is how going to a school is different than learning at home.
“So, mom, what would I eat if I am at school? And would they make me drink plain water?”
“Well, your brothers usually packed their own lunch. Water is available, but the schools sell milk as well.”
“Oh, good, I’d rather have a cold glass of milk with lunch than plain water!”
Knowing that he values milk, it is now easy for me to talk about how our family can make a small sacrifice to help another child enjoy milk every day at school.
Helping Others Through the Heifer School Milk Feeding Program
The Heifer School Milk Feeding Program is one way to help make a difference in the lives of children.
Heifer is involved in helping both increase milk production and getting some of the milk into the bellies of kids.
They have been working with farmers since 2008 to build up the milk supply. Currently, they are working to create more viable and diverse markets for these farmers.
July 2017 marked the launch of the Heifer School Milk Feeding Program. The program brings together farmers, government agencies, and school districts. The goal is to increase the well-being and nutrition of eager students.
The initial phase is in place with 1,742 pupils in the Njombe region received fresh 200ml packets of pasteurized milk every day Monday – Friday during the school year. Ultimately, they seek to grow the program to provide the same benefit to provide 9,000 pupils (ages 9 and under) in the Njombe, Iringa, Mbeya, and Songwe regions.
Each of the 200ml packets contains at least a quarter of the daily calcium requirements for children.
Making a Small Sacrifice to Nourish Another Child
Part of what I talked about with J is how we can make a small sacrifice to help another. Specifically, that there are extras in our lives (e.g. cookies) that can be skipped so the money spent on them can go to charity.
Some of the extras we came up with that can be cut back:
Getting a hot dog combo for lunch at the warehouse store ($1.50)
Soda for movie night ($1 to $2 each week)
Buying a new movie instead of renting ($20 about 5 times a year)
Baking our own cookies instead of buying them ($5 a month)
I put together a tracking page where each circle is $1. This is a great way to help your kids (or the whole family) set aside money to help another. The backside is blank and a great place to write what was sacrificed to make the $75 happen.
Feel free to download and print the tracker for your own use.
What can you do to help Heifer International with this new venture? Make a donation of any size!
Just $75 can provide one student with fresh milk for a school year (that’s just 40 cents a day).
BONUS: Share this post on your social media (Facebook or Twitter) channels. Add #GiveHeifer to the post. Women Online will donate $1 for each of those shares (up to $2000 total) to Heifer’s School Milk Feeding Program.
You can help nourish children w/ @HeiferInternational School Milk Feeding Program! #GiveHeifer Click To Tweet
Do you talk to your family members about how they can help others?
What types of small sacrifices could you make to help nourish a child through Heifer’s School Milk Feeding Program?