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Learning about the saints is a perfect opportunity to teach youngsters to be aware of the importance of animals. Saint Francis considered all animals “brothers” and“sisters” because they were created from the same heavenly Father. The lives of these saints have taught us that God’s creatures are family to us. As stewards of creation, we should care for them like family, assisting them, protecting them, and advocating for their welfare.
If youngsters are nurtured and encouraged to model the saint’s ministry to all creatures, then they will become compassionate and kinder individuals to all of creation — including humankind.
Practical Ideas To Become Saint-sational Keeper Of The Earth:
1. Design a special spot in your back yard for a butterfly or bird sanctuary. Lovely to look at and a safe haven for God’s feathered and flying creatures.
2. Make sure pets have I.D.‘s and are spaded and neutered. Be sure your pet has a veterinarian to have regular healthcare checkups.
3. Be a wise shopper. Support products and services that respect animals lives.
4. If you live in a state that may require natural disaster evacuation, be prepared with a kit for your pets and a plan of safety for them.
5. Be a community leader and get involved in animal projects to support our furry, finned, and feathered friends.
Here Are A Few “Fur” Raising Ideas:
a. Furry Friends Food Drive — Select a day to collect non-perishable food items to be given to animal shelters.
b. Toys For Pups — Lead a toy drive for toys and supplies for training dogs.
c. Miss Kitty’s Kitchen — Sponsor a drive for cat food, health supplies,and toys.
d. Pooch Spa Clinic — Lead a drive to collect grooming needs for our canie friends.
e. Conduct pledge drives and ask for donations to help abandoned animals.
f. Pledge drive can be minutes reading books, minutes away from technology, walking, swimming, and yes, even studying.
g. Sponsor bake sales that focus on selling pet treats, supplies, toys, blankets, and food.
h. Contact homeless shelters regarding their policy on families who also have pets. Donate proceeds from your event.
6. Purchase cruelty-free cosmetics and household products.
7. Adopt a pet from a local animal shelter or rescue group.
8. Work with your local parish to encourage a “blessing” of pets day.
9. Hold a Saints And Holy Creatures Day on All Saints Day. Children can come dressed as a saint who loved animals and tell his or her story.
Encouraging youngsters to be good stewards is a blessing and prayer for the whole universe.
Want To Know More About Saints And Holy Creatures?
FIRST STEPS BIRTHDAY PARTY PLANNING GUIDE:
Birthday celebrations are not about presents alone. It is a priceless memory of celebrating a life and the joy of “living” in general. Giving your child the gift of selflessness is priceless. Birthday parties that make a difference can be just as exciting and fun-filled as conventional children’s celebration.
It’s easy and quite simple to take the positive steps to “throw” a birthday party that is unique, creative, and meaningful for all.
You don’t have to have a multitude of games or excessive field trips to ensure that this birthday celebration is successful and joy-filled. There are a multitude of great service party activities that all participants can do in less than 20 minutes. Be sure to talk to your child for his or her input about the project that they feel would be all best and most helpful.
Ready To Begin?
Check out some helpful tips and tricks to get you on the simple path for a creative, enriching, and meaningful birthday bash for your child.
Take The First Step: Birthday Party Planning
Children love to participate in service projects.
- Talk to your child about the idea of a birthday party that gives to others.
Allowing your child to have input into the planning and choosing of the charity gives them ownership and a sense that they are doing something important and meaningful.
- Be sure to assure them that this special kind of party is just as awesome as a traditional celebration and one of kind.
SECOND STEP: AND MOST IMPORTANTLY INVOLVE YOUR CHILD
- Ask your child what he or she feels the need to help. Does your child love pets? Is he or she an active in sports? Are books and stories important to them?
- Center on choosing a charity or nonprofit organization that would support your child’s passions.
- Be sure that investigate the charity to assure that your gifts or donations are going to an established organization. There are several online services that can accomplish this for you.
THIRD STEP: THE TALK ABOUT GIFTS FROM THE HEART
- Be sure that you and your child are totally in agreement about the giving and receiving of gifts. Stress that the gifts guests bring will be heart-felt. These gifts will be helping people or places in their name.
- You can relate to your child that they will get a present from immediate family members with treasures such as great books, toys, and memories.
- If family members feel inclined to buy a present, there are a myriad of practical or educational entertaining items children love. Those presents would not, however, be opened at the community birthday party. Be sure that your child knows that gifts their guests will bring will be specially crafted or donated in their name. Purchasing a present is more than just coming with a charitable donation to drop in a box.
- Your child’s guests may choose not to bring a physical gift but donate time or talent.
FOURTH STEP: SEND OUT PARTY INVITATIONS
- Once your nonprofit organization has been selected, it’s important that all of the birthday guests know that this birthday celebration is a very special one. Include some material about the nonprofit organization that children will be supporting.
- Be sure to let guest’s parents know that there will be NO GIFTS for this party. The birthday guest of honor would really like something very unique. Encourage guests to bring or donate a physical item.
- Post suggestions in the invitation for donations to be made in the child’s name. It also can include requesting that donations such as toiletries, books, or nonperishable items be brought.
- Be sure to include these activities even though some guests may not be able to come but still can donate.
- Don’t miss out and join the Storytellers Family next month for the next steps of planning a birthday party theme and service projects that will rock!
Visit me at my website: http://www.storytellershop.com
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This is a simple list of wholesome family activities that are fun and enriching. Cost effective as well.
Birthdays have always been special events in our family. Being a volunteer and serving others has also been a part of my life since I was a small child. Between school and family service projects, volunteerism became part of my inner core identity.
Encouraging youngsters at any early age (including toddlers and pre-school) to engage in service oriented activities fosters deep qualities of generosity, empathy, compassion, appreciation, and social accountability for the greater world community around them. These qualities will lead them into adulthood as responsible caring individuals.
A wonderful introduction to foster appreciation of volunteer activities is to create a birthday party that will make a difference in the life of your child and their guests.
Many times children’s’ birthday celebrations become very complicated, time consuming, and overly excessive of activities, themes, and gifts. The simple idea of cake and
ice-cream seems to be fading from popularity. Lavish expenses include over-the-top goodies bags, hoards of gifts, contracted entertainers, and catered food. These are becoming an accepted reality in a child’s world of birthday gatherings.
Youngsters seem to need to keep up with or “top” their friends by lavish birthday celebrations. Being bigger and more “epic” seem to veer the true meaning of the day. Children may experience feelings of envy, peer pressure, or disappointment that their day did not have enough to impress or satisfy friends or their needs.
Parents and guardians can do a great service to guarantee a joyous, fun-filled birthday celebration without all the excessive stress and pressure. Planning a unique party by
“making a difference” to others will assist party-goers with the important message that true important gifts come from helping hearts and hands.
Your child, friends, family, and guests will experience a great feeling that doing something for someone else is not only great fun but the best gift one can give to anyone –
birthday or not.
It is easy to plan a party that makes a difference with the birthday girl or boy.
Check out my next blog at Storyteller Shop for party plans that rock the heart and soul.
For early readers and some great birthday party service ideas, check out my latest book: Opposite Land Amazing Adventures: Zoe’s Birthday Blast for more great suggestions.
Opposite Land Amazing Adventures: Zoe’s Birthday Blast Amazon Paper Back
Opposite Land Amazing Adventures: Zoe’s Birthday Blast Amazon Kindle
Opposite Land Amazing Adventures: Zoe’s Birthday Blast Barnes & Nobles
I was walking with my little dog Brad Warren yesterday, and he found an empty cocoon casing. I could see the tiny opening where the little butterfly flew out.
I can remember a time when as a child when I really did see a butterfly that was trying to escape from its cocoon.
It was so mind-boggling to see that fragile creature fighting his way to escape that covering. I stood there quite a while and began to worry that maybe that little insect might not be able to escape.
I decided it was time for me to come to the rescue so I found a little branch and began to make a hole to help the butterfly leave its shelter more easily. My friend Janie stopped me and would not let me do that. She knew a lot more about butterflies than I did.
She told me that if I helped the little creature out that it would most probably not live the day.
You see, all the flapping and struggling to break away from the nest was really helping the butterfly to become strong and healthy.
All the hard work that was going on had a very good reason. It was building up the butterfly’s strength so it could fly.
Janie also told me that butterflies have a special fat in the cocoon when they struggle to get out. This fatty oil goes all over its tiny body and wings. If the oil did not spread on its body, it would not be made safe from the weather and the elements.
The butterfly’s wings might even get breakable and cracked.
They most likely would fall apart and the little creature would never be able to soar.
Janie explained to me that the butterfly is made that way for a special reason.
Even though it works hard, feels trapped inside its cocoon, and want total freedom;
it is in the hard work that is getting ready to be free and live in the beautiful outside world.
This is such a great lesson for all of us to learn.
We all have to experience things in our life that are not easy. We all have challenges and struggles we have to go through. There are even times we are unhappy and wonder if
we will ever be free from what makes us sad or worried.
But Remember The Butterfly
There may be times in your life when you have to struggle or work hard to be successful. Then – after you have done the hard work – and because you have been true to that goal you set– you can feel free and full of happiness that you have succeed.
Think about it.…..
Can You Be A Butterfly?
Love And Wisdom
Are You A Valentine Chocolate Surprise?
How may of us look forward to Valentine’s Day when our friends and family give us that wonderful box of chocolate hearts we love so much?
What do you think is the best part of getting those sweets? Eating them or guessing what flavors are inside? It’s a real choice for some of us to try to figure out which ones will be the best.
This Valentine’s Day if you get a special gift like a big box of chocolate candy, see if you can do this:
1. Choose a piece that you think you might want to try, but don’t eat it right away. Do you think you can do that?
2. The best part of chocolates is that they all hold a secret. Although all the candies have some dark and light chocolate on the outside, they all have different flavors on the inside. Some have strawberry, some chocolate, vanilla, cherry, nut, and toffee.
You name it, it can be hidden in that tasty little treat.
3. Can you really tell without pinching anything, what is in the inside of that treat? You can if you have x-ray vision but not most of us do.
4. Here comes the best part. Take a bite and find out what you got.
The Chocolate Connection
You know, most folks are like the chocolates you choose out of a Valentine box.
You just can’t tell who or what a person really is by just looking at the outside of them.
Pay attention how they look or how they really act toward you.
It really does not matter if you are an older person, adult, or child, tall or short, heavy or thin, what color or country you come from — these things that how on the outside of us do not really share the secret of who one really is.
By remember this, we have to remember to take steps to really get to know
how a person really feels or thinks or what makes them blue or happy,
what they really enjoy or not, and what they believe by getting to know them
on the inside and who they are.
Each one of them is just like that special chocolate.
They are made differently and have had life experiences that may make them just like us or very different. It does not make them strange or bad.
It makes them unique.
Here is a little story to help you remember the next time you see someone who is different from you and you begin to judge them from their outer shell.
Once upon a time, in a far-away land, three young men stopped by an old farm-house where a little boy lived. The men were thirsty. They needed something to drink.
They asked the young boy,” Do you think you could let us get some cool water from your well?”
The boy thought and thought. He did not like the way that the men were dressed and was afraid they were going to harm him.
But the boy said, ” I suppose you can. Please just help yourself.”
Well, after the men had taken their water, they began looking down the deep well.
This make the little boy very nosy as he never thought about looking at well bottoms.
So has questioned them, “What in the world are you looking for or at?”
The traveling men told him, “Don’t you know?” Goodness lives down in the well.
The boy was amazed. He had never seen anything, but darkness down there.
He asked the men, “Can you pick me up, so I can check it out for myself.“
The men boosted him over, so he could check it out for himself.The boy only saw the water below.
He only saw his own face. Disappointed he said to them,
“But that is only my face.” “That’s not goodness, that’s only my reflection.“
The three wandering men said, “Now you know where goodness lives.
It exists inside of you.”
The weary group then explained that goodness can be in many places at once.
– It can in the sky
— It can live on land
— It can thrive in the water
But where in the universe does goodness really make a home?
In the deep water well?
In the lap-top computer?
In your cell phone?
In the ipod?
Where in the universe do goodness and kindness live?
Well, do you know?
The answer is so simple. It is inside of you.
It’s not found in any machine, or toys, cookie, treat, or piece of chocolate.
Next time you look at yourself or others about you, remember to say, ” I’m looking at the best place where kindness and goodness do live.
It is found in the heart.
Like that special box of chocolates, take one piece of goodness each day and make it special for you and someone you love.
Take time to know your Valentine Chocolate Surprise.
Happy Valentine’s Day