Get the kids involved!

Written by on July 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Kids want to help, but they don't always know how. Help them find a way and you'll find funds aren't the only things being raised.

This is the second year that my team and I participate in the Challenge Walk. My 8-year-old son, William, is too young to participate in the Challenge Walk but wants to help in any way he can. He loves to help us put the mailings together — his job is the stamps and closing the envelopes! He also helps with raffle item solicitations and many other jobs at the fundraisers we hold.

This past spring, William signed up to do one of the one-day walks as a walker. My husband and I felt that this was his endeavor, so we let him take the lead on what he wanted to do for his fundraising. Since he watches us put on fundraisers to raise money for the Challenge Walk, I don't think he completely understands that we also ask people for donations.

To raise money for his walk, William wanted to sell something. We took a trip to our local craft shop and purchased a large box of beads and some nylon thread so he could make bracelets. He made all kinds of wonderful variations, being careful that each one was different. The bracelets were made in two sizes to fit kids through adults. We bagged each one in a snack-size bag with a label stating what the money was for and that they were hand crafted by William himself — then off he went!

William first hit up the neighborhood, then the family (aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are always interested in something made by a child!). On that Sunday morning, he brought his merchandise to church; between coffee hour and the parking lot, he sold out! I don't think one person he approached said no, though of course, he only asked the people he knew. He also brought them to school and sold a few to his teacher.

The bracelets were sold for just a dollar, but many people gave more. Though this task's main purpose was to raise money for the walk, I think it taught all involved a good lesson. William put his heart into those bracelets, and he was as proud as could be each time one was purchased… although probably not as proud as his mom!

So, get the kids involved in any small way possible. Kids love to help and want to do something but may not ask. As William says which we ironed it onto his t-shirt, "I help MS!" He certainly does help in more ways than he knows!

Wendy, the captain of Team WWW (Walk With Wendy), was diagnosed with MS in 2006.  Although she cut down on her work hours during the past year, she still loves her job as a teacher.  Wendy lives in Attleboro, MA, with her supportive husband and 9-year-old son, who provides inspiration for her daily!

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