** Hugs for Soldiers **

I love homeschooling, and one of my projects this year is to teach the boys how to give generously (both time and money).  They already save 10% of their monthly money earned to give to their favorite charity (we will try to pick one every six months).  But I want them to do more than simply give money.

I also want to give more myself.  I have great intentions, but I often don't take the time to help others out as much as I should.  So this makes me set aside the time and teach the boys how important giving is to their parents.

My husband has friends at work selling girl scout cookies, and we always buy some.   However, this year we went gluten-free, so we decided to donate the cookies.  My husband thought it would be fun to send a case to the soldiers oversea, and a google search brought up Hugs for Soldiers.  We simply mail the cookies (Samoas this year) to them and Hugs for Soldiers send them off to oversea soldiers.

Our family loved this idea.

When we started to explore the website we found that you could also send Valentines to the soldiers overseas too.

The boys spent a few hours assembling homemade valentine cards (I think we did six apiece), signed with their names and ages and my email address.  We also included some candy and hand and foot warmers in the package (as they suggested on the website).

The boys helped me pack the goodies up and Dad sent it off this week.  It was a great project and the boys really enjoyed putting it all together.

I noticed you can also adopt-a-soldier.  This would be fun for the boys, but I need to make sure they understand if we do this they have to write weekly letters and send monthly care packages.  I don't want to sign up and have them gripe the second week "What, we have to write ANOTHER letter?".  I think it is so important to learn how to follow through and this would be such a great project for us.

Our family has always been a huge supporter of our military, and it is so nice to include the boys in something so simple as reaching out and letting those brave men and women know how much they all mean to us.

I would love if you would check out Hugs for Soldiers.  This might be something you would enjoy doing with your children, or just on your own.  The deadline to send a Valentine's package is January 31st, and girl scout cookies is March 16th.

If you have a favorite charity, please link it in the comments.  I would love to learn about them so we can make wise choices where we want to spend our time and money.


jknapp00 January 23, 2013 at 2:34 PM  

One of our favorite charities is 826. (http://826national.org/) It is a literacy and scholarship program. There are several locations and each one has a storefront to help support the program. Creative and fun stuff.

Rosalie January 23, 2013 at 8:08 PM  

So nice of you to ask for suggestions. My favorite charity is Angel Tree. (Http://angeltree.org) my dad is incarcerated, and I received Angel Tree gifts at Christmas for many years before I turned 18. They were some of the most meaningful gifts because my dad had never really been able to give me gifts, even before he went to prison. For a few years, the same family bought my gifts, so I was able to get to know them. Children of incarcerated parents are so forgotten. Angel Tree gives them so much hope. It also provides scholarship to camps and other fun events for the kids.

Rita January 23, 2013 at 8:36 PM  

Thank you jknapp00 and Rosalie!

I really love the idea of Angel Tree. Rosalie, your story really touched me, and I have to confess I never even thought about the children of incarcerated parents and Christmas. Thank you so much for telling me about it.

Dina Farmer January 23, 2013 at 11:54 PM  

I'm always going to advocate The March of Dimes. Only because it is special and near and dear to me. I give money to them every year during the walk in my city, and raise money for them as well.