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Service Ideas: Tips to Help Your Children Lead Charitable Lives

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Service—This week's Season of Service challenge is to do service in which you or someone you know leads or guides others in positive, community-building efforts. Most of these suggestions are about involving your children in service leadership opportunities, since doing so helps them acquire social, problem-solving, and other skills that will help them in many other areas of their lives.

  1. Contact your local Girl Scout council about being a one-time program aide at a Forever Green event. Forever Green is the Girl Scouts' national annual community action project, and the events help them accomplish their mission of "being at the forefront of environmental sustainability by leading schools and communities in using resources wisely."
  2. Take an idea like this one from one of the Girl Scout manuals for an environmental or engineering activity and see if your daughter (or son) would like to get together a group of friends and lead them in doing the activity.
  3. Ask your son or daughter if they know of anyone at their school, or would be willing to put up a poster at their school to find someone interested in being the lead organizer for a Martin Luther King Day January 2012 event. If so, they could be eligible for a $4,000 grant through Youth Service America.
  4. Make a $5 donation to Youth Service America, an organization that improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in service and leadership roles. YSA works to engage youth in service, learning, leadership, and achievement efforts through their "Global Youth Service Day," "Semester of Service," and "Get Your Good On" campaigns.
  5. Take the lead in assembling an e-mail and street address list of your extended family members on both sides so that you can stay in touch. Start by asking your parents for their sibling's info.
  6. Take the lead in assembling a phone tree of your neighborhood, so that everyone's status can quickly be ascertained during an emergency or natural disaster.
  7.  Help your family lead a more service-oriented life by taking just one of the ideas in this or any other Season of Service post, doing it, then posting about it on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
  8. Identify a community leader you are inspired by, find their web page, and follow them.
  9. Lead a discussion about your favorite social issue or political figure at your next book club meeting or get-together with friends.
  10. Read this article on how doing service can reduce stress and thus reduce things that lead to arteriosclerosis (no one wants that!).

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • What other ideas do you have for giving to others by going leading?
  • How has leading made a meaningful difference for you this week?
  • How have others given to you this week and what difference has that made in your life?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Season?

Make a meaningful difference this season by taking the Season of Service (SOS) Challenge. Here's how you can participate:

  • Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week's challenge.
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week's challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.
  • Enter to win each week's giveaway. Check out this week's prizes from Together Counts by clicking here.
  • Join #gno this Tuesday on Twitter to connect with other Mom It Forward moms about the challenge.


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