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How Kids Can Help in Times of Disaster

Do what you can, where you are,
with what you have.
Theodore Roosevelt

Kids can have a great impact on the world around them.  They can influence, inspire, and help.  Many children are not ready to fully take on the disasters of the world as they don’t have the maturity to process many of the things that happen.  At the same time, children can still be taught to be compassionate and help.

Need a resource on how to talk to your kids when disaster or tragedy occurs?  See the these resources from the Fred Rogers company.

I’ve received a couple of questions from parents about how they can have their children help with the Oklahoma disaster. I don’t know if your children watched the TV coverage of the tornadoes and the destruction. Mine didn’t. We did talk about what happened and said a special prayer for those in Oklahoma.

Our boys know that a tornado destroyed homes and hurt people.  They are starting to understand what it is to be homeless and small ways to help.  When true need arises in the world around us, we don’t need to be fearful about how it will affect our children.  We can teach them how to respond to disasters.

Take a step and teach them how to be empowered to help others when something bad happens.

For Oklahoma
I know that most relief organizations for the Oklahoma area are asking for monetary donations right now. (Interested, see here.) If your children have some money or an idea on how to raise money to help the survivors, I know that would have impact.

If you don’t have a monetary donation you want to make or if you would rather have your children help in a way that they see a direct influence . . . consider a service act for your local hospital.

I know that the hospital in Moore was hit hard and the surrounding hospitals are receiving the hundreds of people injured in the tornado.

Yesterday, we made a donation of busy books for the Children’s Medical Center.  This is a great way to complete an easy project and help out children that are ill and need a distraction or during wait times at hospitals.  How to Make Busy Books to Donate to a Hospital

There are many other ways that children can contribute to a service project for a hospital.
5 Pages of Service Projects to help a Children’s Hospital

For us, we’ll be talking about what the boys would like to do to help the survivors of the Oklahoma disaster.  In the next few weeks, as the relief efforts are organized, we’ll be looking for a way for the boys to go to the area and help directly (we aren’t that far away).  In the meantime, we can talk about the needs of others that have lost their homes and lost loved ones.  We can look around us and serve those right beside us that have need as well.

We’ll be talking about the helpers.  Those stories of service and kindness that will come from this disaster.  Discussing and seeing those examples really help my boys gain an understanding of the impact of positive actions.

In times of great disaster, as we feel a loss as to how we can help, I know that we cannot go wrong with reaching out to help those beside us.  Check in on a neighbor you haven’t seen in awhile, take a special thank you to your child’s teacher, donate a couple bouquets of flowers to a local nursing home, or send a note to a relative you haven’t seen in awhile.

Service does not have to take long to have an impact. Service does not have be complicated to be meaningful.

Small acts have impact.
Simple acts are meaningful.
Teach children to serve.