100 Ways to Give Back over Summer Break.

100 Summer

1. Summer Reading to Make a Difference: 5 Ideas.

2. Read The Lorax and Plant a Tree.

3. Gather up your loose change all summer and pick something from a gift catalog to give.

4. Be inspired at amybosma.com. Her son Daniel is raising money to buy a clean water well.

5. Finish up an afternoon of sprinkler with some WaterAid Kids Activities!

6. Prepare ahead of time to complete an Operation Christmas Child Box.

7. Free Printable Activities from Heifer International for kids.

8.  Ideas to care for families with disabilities.

9. Explore Citizen Kid Global: a website that help young minds learn about the greater global world.

10. Fill a sports shoe box through Sports Gift.


11. Watch The Good Bird’s Club a special Sesame Street Video about bully prevention.

12. Help the kids in your life become comfortable writing their stories! Check out my Student Speak Pinterest Board.

13. Deliver a surprise to someone in need of a pick-me up. Need ideas? Gifts to Give on Pinterest.

14. For the crafty check out all of Leslie’s at Pink Stripey Socks DIY’s!

15. Head over to Operation World and choose a country to pray for together.

16. Keep clipping those Box Tops for when you return to school in the fall!

17. Become a Free a Family sponsor through World Renew.

18. For all those who can wield needles download a free pattern for Knit for Kids from World Vision.

19. Read digital editions of Quest for Compassion and Explorer for kids from Compassion International.

20. Read Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand (digital video)  about fighting childhood cancer.


21. Read this beautiful photo journey of Children’s Human Rights through UNICEF. (Great for the whole family)

22. Got Teens? Check out DoSomething.org. Participate in the Peanut Butter and Jam Slam this summer!

23. Walk, Run or Bike with your whole family with the free Charity Miles app!  Exercise for a cause of your choice!

24. Support a family’s micro loan through Kiva!

25. Give through Feeding America’s On-line Gift Catalog.

26. Sign up for Milkshake, a daily email with ideas to give back.

27. Take the GROW METHOD challenge with your family this summer from OxFam.

28. Try a new recipe with the kids from the GROW METHOD cookbook.

29. Take the Can You Imagine Quiz through Ryan’s Well about what it might be like without clean water.

30. Try out a Half the Sky Movement mobile game app.


31. Do you use Diaper.com? You can refer a friend and support Shot@Life, providing vaccines to children.

32. Consider bringing TerraCyle to your school. Recycle and earn education money for your school.

33. Host a School Tools Event hands-on service through World Vision for education.

34. Host a Journey to Jamaa Movie Party through World Vision. Connecting Children who Care with People in Need.

35. Send a Wounded Warrior a thank you note through facebook.

36. Use free Girl Rising Curriculum to educate your girl about courageous needs of global friends.

37. Recycle those old running shoes with Reuse-a-Shoe by Nike.

38. Donate your old eyeglasses and sunglasses through Lions Club International.

39. Doing some home improvement donate your home supplies or purchase at Habitat for Humanity Restore.

40. Old Cell Phones? Try these options.


41. Play some Recycle City at the Environmental Protection Agency.

42. Watch these fun digital shorts at the Story of Stuff, great to teach kids about waste and recycling!

43. Download a free curriculum for faith-based teens about a Spirit-filled Response to a Consumed Crazed World.

44. Explore how your family can incorporate fair trade purchases into your household.

45. Submit your story to CausePub and support Blood Water Mission.

46. Download a toolkit from UNICEF with 20 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking.

47. Download Live58: free ebook about how to live generously in 2013.

48. Watch these videos about clean water from WaterAid family appropriate.

49. The Adventures of Super Toilet from WaterAid. What kid wouldn’t read that on-line comic book?

50. Download this flyer for expectant Mom’s to make sure they get a PulseOx Screening for new babies.


51. Make sidewalk chalk messages that encourage!

52. Deliver an ice cream treat to a shut-in or someone that has been feeling under the weather.

53. Surprise someone with a full car wash. Kids love to help with this, any excuse to get wet!

54. Remember your local food pantry. Many kids get the majority of their meals from school and when school’s out they experience food insecurity.

55. Use Goodsearch a penny is donated to your cause or school with each search.

56. Goodsurvery’s donates a dollar to your cause for each survey you take.

57. Are you a computer or facebook gamer? Try Goodgaming for every three times you play a penny is donated to your cause.

58. Try one of these 134 acts of kindness from Anna at And Then We Saved.

59. Save your pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

60. Check out this great list of items to donate such as toys and games to your closest Ronald McDonald House.


61. Three places to send a get well soon card to a child that is receiving long-term hospital care.

62. A summer hair cut? Try Locks of Love.

63. 100 tips to conserve water this summer!

64. Try some of the challenges in the book Clean House about youth entitlement.

65. Walk or use your bikes in the nice weather whenever possible. Bench that car! Shut off car pool!

66. Directions on how to make an infant care kit through the Mennonite Central Committee to be used in refugee camps.

67. Adopt a Classroom: Fund a project for a specific classroom.

68. Patterns to make blankets for children and babies through Project Linus.

69. Host or attend a block party for your neighborhood.


70. Do you know a young person serving at a summer camp? Send a care package.

71. Send pictures and letters to friends and family that live far away.

72. Do you know someone going through a difficult time? Step them up through Take Them a Meal.

73. Watch the video the Power of Ten. Plant trees and employ others through the Eden Foundation.

74. Giving through your coupon skills by moneysavingmom.com

75. Speak up for what you believe in. Our combined voices are powerful.

76. Shut off social media for extended times during the day to be present with your kids.

78. Awesome ideas from the ever gracious Amy Sullivan.

79. Shop with purpose visit pinterest boards from about proximity and Amy Sullivan.

78. Kaboom Playground active body activities.

79. Kaboom Playground active together projects.


80. Kaboom Playground active mind projects.

81. Follow the non-profits you support on twitter, facebook and pinterest.

82. Donated your gently used coats through One Warm Coat.

83. Ideas for earning service learning credits through The Humane Society.

84. Support survivor care of victims of human trafficking through Love 146.

85. Become a church ambassador for Exodus Road.

86. Use social media for good. Learn more at Social Good Moms.

87. Teach your kids about hospitality by having friends over.

88. Support your local library by participating in their summer reading program.

89. Free lessons for kids about gardening and the environment.


90. Do you have a history lover? The National Park Service has an enormous list of ideas for service learning projects.

91. 55 Service Learning ideas from Youth Service America with links.

92. Check out Learning to Give a curriculum division of Generation On compatible with Common Core Standards.

93. Family Service Ideas from Generation On!

94. 65 ways to get started through Generation On!

95. Resource Database of Service Learning and Community Involvement from the New York Times.

96. Check out Faces Magazine from your library ages 9-14.

97. Teaching Tolerance Magazine is free to educators and youth directors.

98. Book list for Anti-Bullying and Conflict Resolution.

99. Spend time together.

100. Take time to do nothing at all 🙂


I’ d love to hear what you tried off this list. Guest post? I love your voice. 

Kids Books About the Topic of Immigration

Reading with your kids is an easy way to place your whole family in the proximity of renewal.

As parents, it’s important to teach our kids the perspective of those who have immigrated to a new home. Immigration reform is a huge topic right now. My husband is teaching an Office of Social Justice curriculum entitled The Church Between Borders all over the United States right now. Children’s books are an excellent way for us to teach our children.

the name jar

The Name Jar by: Yangsook Choi (In a new school, Unhei struggles to use her Korean name.)

harvesting hope

Harvesting Hope By: Cesar Chavez (The story of Cesar Chavez who sought to improve the lives of migrant farm workers.)

kite dragon

Henry and the Kite Dragon by: Bruce Edward Hale (A story based on true events, two rival groups of children from Chinatown and Little Italy learn what they share.)


Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan By: Coretta Scott King (Based on true events, orphaned boys from the war in Sudan, walk to a refugee camp in another country.)

whispering cloth

The Whispering Cloth by: Pegi Dietz Shea (life in a refugee camp in Thailand, a little girl tells her story through traditional pa’nadau)

hate english

I Hate English! by: Ellen Levine (the struggles of learning a new language in a new country.)

one green apple

One Green Apple by: Eve Bunting (the story of a young Muslim immigrant)

lotus seed

The Lotus Seed by: Tatsuro Kiuchi (a young girl immigrates from Vietnam.)

days to america

How Many Days to America By: Eve Bunting (a family is forced to flee their Caribbean home and board a boat to America.)

the color of home

The Color of Home By: Mary Hoffman (Hassan feels homesick after fleeing Somalia, to a refugee camp, to a new home in England.)

hannah is my name

Hannah is my Name By: Belle Yang (a young girl immigrates from Taiwan to San Francisco.)

waiting for papa

Waiting for Papa By: Rene Colato Lainez (Beto and his Mama have left El Salvador and with the help of an immigration lawyer they wait for Papa.)

leaving vietnam

Leaving Vietnam By: Sarah S. Kilborne (Tuan and his father flee Vietnam and immigrate to America.)

myname is jorge

My Name is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River (poems in English and Spanish) By: Jane Medina (Jorge tries to assimilate to his new home in American and hold his Mexican heritage close.)


Super Cilantro Girl By: Juan Felipe Herrera (Esmeralda Sinfronteras is a super-hero who goes great lengths to rescue her Mom. The story highlights concerns children may have about national borders and immigrant status.)

Water Aid Kids Activities

water aid

2,000 children die every day from easily prevented diarrheal diseases. We can educate our kids to make a difference for kids around the world that do not have access to clean water and safe sanitation.


What kids doesn’t want to fight poop justice?


Enter WaterAid kids resources..

The Learn Zone at WaterAid has a sense of humor just right for kids.


Download a Water Splash Coloring Book for 3-5 year olds.

Play Games

  • Pani the Handlepump (quiz game) 
  • Turdliwinks (flick your turdliwinks into ‘toilet targets’)
  • Soozhal (Be an investigative journalist in India)

Watch 13 different videos all appropriate for kids. The issue comes to life when you see children moving through the challenge of finding clean water.

Download Information Sheets for Kids

Watch an On-line Comic Book featuring:

  • Vinny the Poo
  • Super Toilet
  • Driplette
  • Soapy Hero



WaterAid is a partner organization of Mom Bloggers for Social Good and the Global Team of 200.

Try one of these out with your family and tell us all about their reaction! 


Children’s Books about Homelessness

four feet two sandels










Four Feet, Two Sandals By: KC Pathways  (A story of two girls in a refugee camp in Pakistan. Ages 6 and up) 

fly away home











Fly Away Home by: Eve Bunting (About a homeless boy and his father who live in an airport. Ages 6 and up.)

voyage to shelter cove











Voyage to Shelter Cove by: Ralph Da Costa Nunez (A group of sea friends find shelter after their coral reef is destroyed. Ages 3 and up.) 











Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by: DyAnne DiSalvo (A book about an urban soup kitchen. Ages 5 and up.) 












Harry the Homeless Puppy by: Holly Webb (Introduce the concept of homelessness through this story. Ages 3 and up) 

bb homeless










The Berenstain Bears Help the Homeless by: Jan and Stand Berenstain (Kids serving others. Ages 3 and up.)

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The Can Man by: Laura E. Williams (A young boy faces the reality of homelessness and offers an act of kindness. Ages 6 and up.) 

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December by: Eve Bunting (A book about a young boy, a cardboard house, and a Christmas angel. Ages 6 and up.)

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The Lady in the Box by: Ann McDonald (A boy and his sister care for a homeless lady near their apartment home.  Ages 6 and up.) 














A Shelter in our Car by: Monica Gunning (Zettie’s Mom is unable to find work and they must live in their car. Ages 6 and up)

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The Family Under the Bridge by: Natalie Savage Carlson (A book about a family who lives beneath a bridge and the man who befriends them. Ages 9 and up.)

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Ivy Homeless in San Francisco By: Summer Brenner (Children deal with the difficulties of poverty and homelessness. Ages 9 and up.)

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Esperanza Rising by: Pam Munoz Ryan (Esperanza and her Mama flee from Mexico to a California farm labor camp. Ages 8 and up.)

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Also Known as Harper by: Ann Haywood Leal (Harper, an aspiring poet, must deal with her family’s eviction notice. Ages 10 and up.)

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Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan (In India, 13 year old Koly defies fate after being sold for dowry. Ages 10 and up.)

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Selavi by:Youme (About street children without homes in Haiti. Ages 6 and up.) 

All About Proximity involving kids children’s books can be found at my Make a Difference Kids Books pin board on Pinterest.

Children’s Books about Understanding Disabilities

Children’s Books for Understanding Disabilities: 

(Tomorrow guest Lisa Woolsey will be helping with #27 acts of kindness to families and students with disabilities)

The alphabet war








The Alphabet War: A Story about Dyslexia by Diane Burton Robb

sosu's call








Sosu’s Call by Meshack Asare (1999 UNESCO Prize, story of courage)

black book of colors







The Black Book of Colors By: Menena Cottin, Rosana Faria, Elisa Amado (A beautiful book to step into the World of being visually impaired.)









Eukee the Jumpy Jumpy Elephant By: Clifford L. Corman MD, Esther Trevino and Richard A. Dimatteo (A book about ADD)

talking to angels








Talking to Angels By: Esther Watson (A book about autism)

blueberry eyes








Blueberry Eyes By: Monica Driscoll Beatty, Peg Michel (A book about  eye treatment)

dad and me








Dad and Me in the Morning By: Patricia Lakin, Robert G. Steele (A book about hearing impairment)

one foot








Now One Foot, Now the Other by: Tomie dePaola (a grandson and grandpa dealing with disablility)

knots on a counting rope







Knots on a Counting Rope By: Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, Ted Rand (A Book about confidence in blindness)

red octopus







We’ll Paint the Octopus Red By: Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, Pam Devito (A book about Down’s Syndrome)

moses goes to school








Moses Goes to School By: Isaac Millman (A boy who attends a school for the visually impaired)

moses circus








Moses Goes to the Circus By: Isaac Millman (A boy who attends a school for the visually impaired)

sees a play








Moses Sees a Play By: Isaac Millman (A boy who attends a school for the visually impaired)


goes to a concert








Moses Goes to a Concert   By: Isaac Millman (A boy who attends a school for the visually impaired)









Sarah’s Sleepover By: Bobbie Rodriguez, Mark Graham (Overcoming visual impairment)









Reach For the Moon By: Samantha Abeel, Charles R. Murphy (affirmation and hope from someone who works through disability)









Sarah and Puffle: A Story for Children about Diabetes By: Linnea Mulder

very special critter








A Very Special Critter By: Mercer Mayer (A book about students with physical disability)









Leo the Late Bloomer  By: Robert Kraus, Jose Aruego (All kids develop in and grow in their own time)

Do you have any stories I can add to this list? 

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse.

Visit the Operation Christmas Child website.

Many churches and organizations participate in Operation Christmas Child each year. National Collection Week is November 12- 19.


Did you know you can pack and send an Operation Christmas Child box anytime of the year?

This is a great option if the holiday season moves past too quickly or if funds are not available during the holidays. Anyone for a family service Christmas in July or a February Valentine?

There are drop off centers all over the nation. Search for a location near you. Or you can mail your box to Samaritan’s Purse Headquarters the address is Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, 801 Bamboo Rd., Boone, NC 28607.


How else can you make Operation Christmas Child a Family Activity?

  • Read Operation Christmas Child Stories from the field together.
  • If you pay $7.00 online to cover the shipping cost, the shipping bar code will be connected to your email address. This allows you to  track which country your shoe box will be delivered too. More information here.
  • Read as a family about the complete journey of a shoe box.
  •  Talk about how shoe box gifts travel by truck, boat, plane, bicycle, helicopter, donkey, dogsled, elephant and even oxen! [Samaritan’s Purse]
  • Read about how to pack a shoe box.
  • Follow my friend Diane Harvey’s Pinboard all about Operation Christmas Child. You will find a ton of great links for ideas of what to pack as well as awesome photographs.

Gift Catalog Activities for Families

Yesterday, we shared links to learn more about gift catalog giving over the holidays.

Here are some additional links to help you teach your kids about the difference their gifts make in the global world.


Read the book Beatrice’s Goat: Beatrice Biira of Uganda was nine years old when her family received the gift of a goat through Heifer International. The goat provided enough income for Beatrice to attend school. In 2010, Beatrice graduated with her master’s degree.

Read to Feed Program:  This is an incentive service-learning program that encourages literacy. Read to Feed is a great program to implement at schools and churches.

Game and Activities: Heifer International has a link for game and activities; crossword puzzles, word searches, science experiments, and cow-lage.

Watch:  OxFam’s gifts in action videos.

Visit: Compassion International’s Resources for Kids. Quest for Compassion explores four countries that Compassion works in. You can download Explorer Magazine and check out a children’s Bible featuring artwork from Compassion Kids.


Take time as a family to check out some of these great resources. It will make your gift catalog experience take on even deeper meaning.

Involving Families: Gift Catalogs

Thanksgiving and Christmas move to the forefront during the months of November and December.

Be encouraged to make a difference this holiday season. Place a giving bank somewhere prominent in your home. Work as a family to collect change. Change can be used to purchase a gift through a gift catalog. A great family activity is looking through gift options on the computer or through an ordered catalog. Choose the gift as a family!

What a great message we are teaching our kids if alongside the toy catalogs are options for helping other kids around the world.

Here you can connect to the OxFam America unwrapped page.

Here is the Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog.

This connects you to Compassion International’s Gift Catalog.

Here is the link to World Renew’s gift catalog.

Here you can connect to Heifer International’s Gift Catalog.


Here you can connect with the World Vision Catalog.

Stop back tomorrow for more ideas to teach your kids about global gift catalog giving! 

Involving Families: Ryan and Jimmy

Kids can make a difference!

Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together By: Herb Shovelier is a book your family will want to read together. The book is geared toward 3rd-6th graders. The book is part of the CitizenKid Collection of stories to encourage kids to make a difference globally.

In first grade, Ryan Hreljac of Kemptville, Ontario learned that not everyone in the world had clean water. He sought to earn the money to buy a clean water well. After a newspaper ran his story, his work received international attention. He was able to fund a clean water well in the Agweo Village in Uganda, Africa. His school became pen pals with students in Agweo. One student, a young orphan named Akana Jimmy longed to tell Ryan thank you in person. Ryan was able to travel to Uganda and meet Jimmy. The book is about their friendship and the difference they have made.

The story continues as Jimmy was abducted by the LRA, a resistance group in Uganda. He escaped to his friend, the project coordinator of Ryan’s Well. After time and paperwork, Jimmy was able to come to Canada and live with Ryan’s family. They now have a foundation called the Ryan Well Foundation.

The Foundation website also has school curriculum ideas and clean water projects you can be involved in.


Be encouraged by a friendship and the power one life has to make a difference!

World Food Day for Families

Oxfam USA World Food Day is October 16. Oxfam works together to end poverty and injustice around the World.

World Food Day is a great opportunity to serve as a family!

Our planet produces enough food for everyone, yet nearly one billion of us (1 in every 7 people) still go to bed hungry.

Your family can make a difference!


How can your family be involved? 

Learn about the Grow Method

Visit the Grow Method Page and read the booklet Fight World Hunger Starting at Your Table as a family.

Write down a practical application for each category that your family can work on.

Our family choose the following:

  • Save Food: have a leftover night where we try to use any and all leftovers.
  • Shop Seasonal: visit our local farmer’s market to learn what food is seasonal.
  • Less Meat: weekly have a breakfast for dinner night with pancakes and fruit, or beans and rice.
  • Support Farmers: visit our local’s farmer’s market for produce.
  • Cook Smart: work as a family to plan our meals for each week.

Visit Pinterest (Look a great excuse!)

Oxfam GROW method is on pinterest here. Follow their board. Look through the recipes as a family and choose a few to try together.

Do you use Instagram?

Post a photograph on October 16 of your World Food Day dinner. Tag the photograph with #WFD2012 and your photo will join others around the world. Visit the Oxfam website to see photographs from around the world.

A World Food Day Dinner Discussion Guide: 

Oxfam has a printable World Food Day Dinner Discussion Guide here. Use this free resource to guide your dinner table discussion. After the kids go to bed, parents can continue the discussion.

A Children’s Book Resource:

Hungry Planet What the World Eats By: Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio

This book would be a great resource for a family story time after dinner. Beautiful photographs archive families all around the world surrounded by what they eat in a month’s time. Discuss the similarities and differences you recognize with each family.


Praise your kids for taking time to make a difference as a family. Make sure they know their efforts combined with others, do make a profound difference!