Welcome to our newsletter! // January 2018
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AT-HOME KINDNESS CHALLENGE: Create a family kindness manifesto
You may have made a few resolutions already for 2018--eating better or reading more or finally taking time to do [insert that super-important thing]. Here's wishing you success in reaching those goals. Here, too, is a challenge for your family this month: resolve to be--and then chart a specific plan for becoming--a kinder force as a family in your neighborhood, school, church, sports team, or wherever else you create community in 2018. Here's an idea to get you started.
To create a family kindness manifesto:
2. Browse the internet (Pinterest is helpful!) for family manifesto examples. Think about language styles that feel best for your crew. Keep these in mind as you move through steps 3 and 4.
3. Hold a brainstorm session with your family. Ask yourselves a series of questions and discuss freely and openly (no wrong answers!). Jot down your thoughts on a piece of scrap paper.
- What does kindness mean to you?
- Why is being a kind family important to you?
- What are 10-15 ways you can be kinder, collectively?
4. Review your ideas from your brainstorm and pick your favorite five to 10. Document these top ways your family resolves to be kinder in 2018 on your chalkboard. To keep it simple, just make a list (e.g., "Our family will be kinder in 2018 by: x, y, z, a, b). To get fancy, use your Pinterest inspiration to craft a series of statements that capture why you value kindness and how your family plans to pursue it in the new year.
5. Hang your manifesto somewhere prominent. Refer to it often. Use it as a conversation-starter at dinner: "How did we do at pursuing our manifesto today? Does anyone have examples from the week in which they used a commitment from the manifesto? What are ways we can live commitment #1 today?"
Last but not least, share your manifesto with us! We'd LOVE to be inspired by your efforts, and share your projects on the Seeds of Caring Facebook page. Email or shoot us a Facebook message with a photo of your family with your manifesto and a little about your experience creating it.
FEATURE FAMILY: The Dudleys
Worthington mom Lyndsey Dudley's family motto is simple and clear: Be the good. She and her husband Brian have been raising their kids Tate and Harper with this guiding principle for going on seven years now, and so were thrilled to find Seeds of Caring in 2017 as a way to put their values into action as a family.
Lyndsey shares, "Ever since my babies were born, I have said to them above all else, be kind. Be inclusive. Be the good. I have tried to show them through my actions that more is always merrier, and that spreading love and kindness fills you up as much as it fills the hearts of others. I am committed to raising children who recognize unfairness and unjustness in their lives, and strive to do all in their power to make this world a better place for all who share this planet. The events we attend with Seeds of Caring provide a platform for that, and make giving back and helping our community easy and accessible."
The Dudleys have been involved in a range of Seeds of Caring's efforts and events, from trick-or-treating at a local senior center to sponsoring a child in need at the holidays. This past fall, Lyndsey invited her parents, too, for an afternoon of celebrating kindness with Seeds of Caring in honor of National Grandparents Day. Together, three generations of her family read books about kindness, made placemats for Meals on Wheels recipients, and painted kindness rocks to place around their neighborhood.
"Though they loved doing the different crafts and activities, hearing the positive words about kindness and caring were so important, especially in today’s troubled world," says Beth Mirmelstein, mom to Lyndsey and grandmother to Tate and Harper. "Words DO matter! Of course, we all talk to the kids about being loving and kind and inclusive, but hearing it outside the family, in the larger world, reinforces the lessons learned at home. It’s sort of that 'it takes a village' concept come to fruition."
We agree, and we're grateful that the Dudley family is part of the Seeds of Caring village!
If you'd like to be a feature family for the Seeds of Caring newsletter or special Facebook posts, email us with photos of your family engaged in Seeds of Caring activities, along with a short testimonial about the impact these experiences have had on your family.
QUESTION CORNER: Thoughts for Martin Luther King Day
Monday, January 15, is Martin Luther King Day--a day commemorating the bravery of a national hero who stood up for the fair and equal treatment of all people in our country during the civil rights movement. How do you plan to talk to your kids about the significance of the day? For some helpful tips, we recommend giving this Chicago Tribune article a quick read. Also consider buying this book or checking it out from your local library to read with your children. Find more MLK book ideas here.
Then, sit down with your kids to talk through these questions:
- Have you ever been treated unfairly?
- What if you were treated unfairly because of one of your most basic characteristics? Like the color of your eyes, or how tall you are? How would that make you feel?
- What if you didn't have someone you could tell about being treated unfairly--someone you knew could help to make it right, and protect you?
- How can we be helpers to people who are treated unfairly in our community? How can we make sure their voices are heard and that they are treated fairly in the future?
New Seeds of Caring events are posted on the 1st and 15th of every month. To get your first pick of events, we recommend logging on to our Eventbrite registration page on these dates to view new events and claim your spot. Events are filling fast lately!
Upcoming events that currently have openings include a pet food drive and afternoon of service for AniMeals and Valentine card-making for local homebound residents. Check them out! We'd love see you there. And remember, the next set of all-new events will be posted on the 15th of this month.
THANKS FOR BEING PART OF THE SEEDS OF CARING FAMILY!
We're so glad you're part of our collective effort to make Columbus a kinder place to live and grow. Remember to subscribe here to continue receiving this newsletter.
With any questions or comments about the content of this newsletter, please contact Seeds of Caring Co-Executive Director, Sarah Pirtle, at email@example.com.