A dear friend of mine recently received a gift for her family and reached out to tell me about it. It is a craft box called Little Loving Hands similar to the children's subscription boxes that are so popular right now; however, instead of doing a craft to keep, your child completes a craft to donate to a worthy cause.
Shortly after learning about this organization, I went to their website, read the "About" page and felt an instant kinship with the mom who started Little Loving Hands. Here is an excerpt:
"As a mom, I constantly think about how to help my children grow up to be strong, happy, and confident individuals. At the same time, I want to make sure that they also understand the importance of caring for others and giving back to those in need. When I first searched for volunteer opportunities that my kids could participate in, I came up with a very limited list. I also quickly realized that this was a common challenge that others parents were dealing with. That's why I created Little Loving Hands.
Our mission is to provide parents and caretakers a fun and educational method to engage children in learning about the importance of empathy and being kind . . . Together, we can make this world a more caring place and enable our children to have a big impact. "
I couldn't have said it better myself. Therefore, I decided to give the boxes a try and ordered one.
As an aside, I wanted to say that I am in no way affiliated with Little Loving Hands and do not receive compensation for promoting their boxes. I am simply someone who loved the mission of the organization, wanted to support the idea, and decided to share another way to make giving fun for our kids.
How it works:
- Select a box which will be delivered to your doorstep. The cost is $28, but I felt it was worth it for what we received and were able to teach our kids as a result of the activity. Currently, they have 6 boxes to choose from, although 3 were sold out. If you email them about one of the sold out boxes, they sometimes have a few left in inventory and may be able to provide you with the one you are interested in. They are great at emailing back quickly! Every box contains craft materials and excellent resources to help teach your child about charitable giving. Each spotlights a different organization that your child can support by making crafts and donating them as gifts. For example:
- The Hearts for the Homeless Box teaches children about Enchanted Makeovers, an organization that helps and empowers women and children in homeless shelters.
- The Military Gratitude Box spotlights A Million Thanks, an organization which was founded by a 15-year-old who had the goal of sending 1 million letters of appreciation to military men and women around the world. Her organization exploded. Now, not only does it continue to deliver millions of thank you letters, but also (a) grants wishes of military men and women injured in the line of duty and (b) funds higher education scholarships to children of fallen military members.
- Ultimately the box we chose as a family was the Monkey Business Box which spotlights the organization Operation Sock Monkey. This organization provides laughter, hope, and healing to communities around the world affected by disease, disaster, and social/political turmoil by sending handmade sock monkeys to children in need of a smile.
- Open the box, do the craft with your child, and spend time talking about who this project is benefitting, why they need extra support, and how this project helps.
- The Monkey Business box comes with 3-4 colorful, illustrated, and very age-appropriate descriptions of the charity being supported. This made it very easy to talk with my kids about needs around the world and to explain how we were going to help. Not only were the crafts fun, but it was also a very educational experience.
- The Monkey Business art project was adorable (the kids designed and colored a stuffed sock monkey and created a monkey magnet with a personal message on the back). The set included fabric markers, supplies to put together a monkey magnet, and the stuffed monkey to decorate. When I asked what my five-year-old wanted to say to a child in need of a smile he said, "I made this monkey just for you. I hope it makes you happy."
- Another cute little detail included in the box is a certificate of completion and a "thank you" button as a reminder of the kindness your child passed on to someone else.
- When you are done with the craft, seal it up inside the included pre-paid return envelope, drop it in a mailbox, and your child's handmade creation will be sent directly to the spotlighted organization. That organization will send your craft along to someone in need.
Give one of these adorable boxes a try if you are looking for a simple service activity to do with your little ones. The boxes seem to be geared toward ages 3-8, but my 2-year-old was able to help as well. I'd also highly recommend gifting it to others as an alternative to a birthday or holiday gift.
Operation Sock Monkey will be sending our monkey to a child in a community affected by hardship. We hope it fills him or her with a little bit of love and hope.
If you'd like more resources for service ideas for kids and access to my free printable activity library, you can find those HERE. Activities include a Gratitude Journal, Printable Valentines, Fill-in-the-Blank Thank You Cards, Kindness Scavenger Hunt, and more.
Much love to you and your little helpers,
Ashley | Look for Little Helpers