May 18th, 2016 | Family, Kids, Volunteers

Volunteering is a great way to teach children about helping others in need and giving back to their communities. But with school, extracurriculars and all the other commitments families have on their plates, it can be hard to fit volunteering into already packed schedules. On top of that, it can be hard to find activities that everyone enjoys. That’s why Cheerful Givers makes it easy for kids and their families to donate their time to other children in fun, memorable ways.

Here are just a few family-friendly volunteering opportunities Cheerful Givers offers:

Become a Pencil or Crayon Collector: Lead a pencil or crayon drive at your school or local organization. By collecting new pencils or crayons for Cheerful Givers’ bags, you’ll help provide birthday gifts to children facing homeless and poverty.

Host a Bag Assembly Party: Whether you’re looking for a unique birthday party theme or a team-building activity, hosting a bag assembly party can be fun and impactful. Research and collect gift bag items, and then assemble the bags to create unique, memorable birthday gifts for children in need.

Research Toys for Kids: What kid doesn’t love learning about new toys? We need help from the experts to determine what fun, interesting and unique new toys to include in our birthday bags. By sending us suggestions for gift bag items, you’ll help us provide special birthday presents to children who otherwise wouldn’t get them.

Check out more unique ways you can volunteer with Cheerful Givers on VolunteerMatch.org.

Have a great idea for a family-friendly volunteering opportunity? Email Robin Steele at robin@cheerfulgivers.org.

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February 8th, 2016 | Children, Family, Kids

Child-Unique-Value-Quote

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January 2nd, 2016 | Birthdays, Children, Family, Giving, Kids

Happy-New-Year-2016-380x254By Robert Becka

Looking for a great way to make (and keep) your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016? Try involving your kids!

Regardless of whether you make the same resolutions, you’re all more likely to keep them if they’re made as a family: your encouragement will help the kids stay on track, and in return they’ll keep you honest. Turn it into a game (complete with small treats as rewards), and you’re even more likely to stick with it!

Need a few ideas?

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides a great list of resolutions for children, separated by age group. Give it a look — we think you’ll find that more than a couple of them (including those for preschoolers) would be great additions to your own list of resolutions.

Naturally, we suggest resolutions such as “I will help out in my community!” It’s not only a great way to teach kids the joys of charitable giving; it’s also a fun way to bond as a family while helping children in need!

 

 

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December 28th, 2015 | Birthdays, Children, Donations, Family, Giving, Holidays, Kids

Boy with bagWe so very much appreciate all of the generous individuals who support our mission to provide birthday gifts for less fortunate children.

Because there are many children with January birthdays who we don’t want to go without, we’re asking if you or your organization might consider one more gift?

$10 or more will make a difference here!

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November 29th, 2015 | Birthdays, Children, Family, Giving, Holidays, Kids

BB-Groupshot-2006Christopher enjoyed bringing joy to children as well as collecting beanie babies. So when he died at age 28, his mother believed he would want his collection to be placed in the hands of children who would love them.

Our heartfelt sympathy to Christopher’s family, and many thanks for sharing his legacy of bringing joy to others.

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November 19th, 2015 | Birthdays, Family, Holidays

h=394By Alison O’Callaghan

Most birthday traditions around the world have similarities but there are also many differences. Here are a few unusual ones. In Mexico, the song La Mordida (meaning bribe), is usually sung as the special person, with their hands tied behind their back, takes the first bite of birthday cake, whereas in Venezuela, your face is simply plunged straight into it.

In Jamaica, expect to be continuously covered in flour by friends, family and bystanders. Soaking the person with water beforehand ensures the flour is sticky and difficult to remove. Never wish a German ‘Happy Birthday’ before the actual day, as it is considered bad luck, but do accept a birthday invite as the tab is always on them! German children are excused chores on their special day, but if a man is still single on their 30th, you are guaranteed to see them sweeping the steps of the local town hall until they are finally rescued by the kiss of a woman.

In Denmark, birthdays are extremely important and the Danish flag is always hung outside the birthday person’s house. A ‘cake man’ is usually served to children and when the birthday child cuts the man’s head off, everybody has to scream.

All of these gestures are meant to symbolize love, health, laughter and good luck. Perhaps it will give you a few ideas the next time you celebrate a birthday!

 

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October 20th, 2015 | Birthdays, Children, Family, Giving, Kids, Volunteers

What will you be doing this Sat. Oct. 24 to make a difference? It’s Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service, and there is so much you can do to help! Make a donation, volunteer, spread the word — see ideas below.

Last year, Cheerful Givers was honored to be one of ten national recipients to receive a $10,000 grant for our project on Make A Difference Day from the Points of Light Foundation and USA Today.  Watch clips (28.35 on video) of the highlights of the 2015 Make A Difference Day Awards Luncheon presentation by Natalie Morales of NBC’s TODAY to Cheerful Givers in Washington DC.

Cheerful Givers's photo.

Join our Birthday Club where a $10 or more donation each month provides a Happy Birthday and a lot of needed self-esteem to a less fortunate child.

 

*  Take your family or friends shopping to purchase some gift bags and 8-10 small new toys for each bag.  Have fun filling the bags with toys and then take them to a local food shelf or shelter.

 

*  Become a Cheerful Givers volunteer!  You can spend just one minute a month as a social networker promoting our cause (we provide the copy), or take a look at all of our volunteer opportunities.  All are done at your own location.

 

Let us know how you made a difference!

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August 31st, 2015 | Birthdays, Children, Family, Kids, Volunteers

IMG_1070Thanks to KARE-11 and HandsOn Twin Cities for inviting Cheerful Givers to offer a hands-on volunteer opportunity for fairgoers at the Minnesota State Fair on Sunday, August 30.

Fairgoers enjoyed helping to decorate birthday bags and created some fun birthday messages on a stick.IMG_1065

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August 26th, 2015 | Family, Giving, Kids

CR Cheerful Givers D2D Snip (2)Just mention Cheerful Givers to your server at Cadillac Ranch today (Wed. August 26) at the Mall of America, and we will receive 20% of your total tab.

Encourage your team to go out for lunch, enjoy happy hour or make a date for dinner.  It’s all for a great cause!

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July 30th, 2015 | Birthdays, Children, Family, Giving, Kids

By Harika Kottakota

A birthday bagYour fingers trace along crisp edges of the plastic bag. And for a silent moment your imagination springs free and dances in excitement for what is awaiting inside.

Your fingers plunge into smooth tissue paper, expectantly, searching for answers to the mystery, and you become lost in joyous thoughts, playful ideas for the year ahead.

Your fingers grasp onto your presents and you can’t help but guess away: A ball? A book? A teddy bear? Until your eyes finally meet your birthday gifts.

Then your bright, toothy smile meets your loved ones’ eyes.

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