My daughter loves cats; thus, for her last birthday, she received six stuffed cats. Six! And while I am so appreciative of the generosity of friends and family, we don’t need piles of stuffed animals in every room. More than wanting to clear clutter, I’m organizing a stuffed-animal drive to help my kids fight entitlement. It is so hard for kids (and for all of us, really), not to hoard our possessions, not to think we are entitled to mountains of stuff, not to want more, more, more. The best way that I’ve found to combat that tenancy is to give to others. So, this month, we will be working with other local families to collect and donate new and gently-used stuffed animals and action figures.
What do this in your area?
Here are the steps I’m following through this month:
1. Find somewhere to donate: This is such an important first step because it makes it easier to be generous when we know where our items will be going. When we picture kids in crisis hugging a stuffed-animal for comfort, we are inspired to give. We will be donating our items to the local police department, and, as mentioned in our local paper, “they give them to children who are involved in a variety of crisis situations from car accidents to domestic and sexual violence situations, or situations when a child or child’s family member is in crisis.” What a great cause! If this isn’t an option in your area, you can look into local shelters and rescue missions.
2. Get the word out: Spread the word in various ways. Send Facebook messages, post about it on your social media sites, talk to people in person, make flyers, etc. Many people (especially those with kids) have stuffed animals they are willing to donate.
3. Start collecting: We will be meeting at a park to collect our items. The kids can play, and the adults can look through the items. (Donations should not be dirty or ripped, and they can’t have loose parts.) We are really looking forward to this get together, but you can certainly collect donations in other ways. (A box at your kid’s school or porch pickups, etc).
4. Donate: This is the fun part! Bring your kids for the drop-off if possible, and remind them why you are doing what you are doing.
5. Share your experience (optional): if you have a chance, feel free to share pictures or stories about your experience with our group on Facebook. The more we share, the more we inspire each other.
I’m certainly not going to ask my daughter to give away her favorite kitty, but I will help her choose a couple to donate. I want to remind her (and myself) of the importance of giving to others rather than feeling entitled. Do you have any strategies that help you and your family fight entitlement? If so please share them! Thank you so much for reading, and let’s go love people on purpose.