Predominant in my recent reflection is a growing dissatisfaction with my current career, often referenced as the 'blasted day job'. At the end of a day, a week, a year, the expended energy, time and effort I have committed leaves me empty. I crave opportunity to become involved, to make meaningful contributions to my community, to reach out a hand to one in need.
With a demanding work schedule as well as a calendar of family events and commitments, it has been far too easy to push my nagging thoughts into the 'I'll think about it tomorrow category' as another year ticks by. Although a full career change will take some time, making a difference now is SIMPLE, requiring only the barest of efforts and an open heart.
The Champions for Kids program is specifically designed to enable those with unrealized passion for giving to make a difference in their communities. With SIMPLE Service Projects already designed and easy to facilitate, even those with the busiest of schedules can participate. Whether performed by an individual, a family or a school or church group, these projects target the most deserving of our communities in ways that can make a powerful impact.
Participating in the Abbott Nutritional Champions for Kids Pack a Snack project has been a rewarding, although heart-wrenching, experience for my family. With aim to address the hunger needs of children with quality food items, my family selected products with high nutritional content, such as PediaSure® and Zone Perfect Bars®, along with easy meal staples to donate to a local shelter.
The education my family gained from exploring the devastating and prevalent issue of childhood hunger and homelessness across the nation and specific to Michigan was, at once, heartbreaking and inspiring.
- Families with children are among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population 1
- Estimated number of homeless children in the United States ranges from 800,000 to 1.2 million. 1
- 1 in 50 children in the United States are homeless. 2
- At least half of homeless children are under the age of 5.3
- Homeless children have higher rates of asthma, ear infections, stomach problems, and speech problems. 4
- Homeless children experience more mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and withdrawal. 1
- Homeless children four times as likely to have delayed development. 1
- 51% of homeless people in Michigan are adults and children in families. 5
- In Michigan, 51% of homeless families are the working poor. 5
- Victims of domestic violence constitute 13 percent of all sheltered persons. 6
Ways YOU Can Help!LEARN about the hunger needs of children in your community by inviting a teacher, social worker, food pantry employee, or homeless shelter volunteer to talk with your family, friends, and co-workers.
GATHER your family, friends, and co-workers and ask them to bring nutritious foods like Pediasure®, Pediasure SideKicks®, and ZonePerfect® bars to help children in need.
GIVE the nutritious food to a school, church, food pantry, or non-profit organization in your community. These organizations need snacks and meals for children who do not get enough nutritious food on a daily basis. This food doesn’t just help children have enough to eat – it helps them have happier and healthier futures.
Join me and become One of Millions, reaching out to those in dire need in your community! Inspired and rewarded by my family's individual contribution to our local shelter, we are reaching out to one of the groups we are active in, the Destination Imagination group in which my son participates and in which I am a team leader to collect even more nutrition packed items to donate. With all teams gathering in February for a practice session, what better time to ask each member to bring a contribution that will make such an impactful difference in the life and future of a child in need.
How does your family give back in your community?
Do you participate in any groups that give?
What inspires you to give back?
What holds you back from giving?
Tell me in a comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
I am proud to be working as one of the millions of Champions for Kids. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. The experiences and opinions above are both honest and my own. Statistics and image sourced from Champions for Kids. #CBias #AbbottCFK
1 - Nationalhomeless.org 2 - National Center on Family Homelessness, 2009 3 - National Center on Family Homelessness, 1999 4 - Better Homes Fund, 1999 5 - misd.net 6 - HUD Homeless Assessment Report 2007