What started as a Christmas wish list transformed into a lesson about there being children in the world that don’t have the simplest of things, about children who don’t get to make a wish list for Christmas, about children who may not even have socks for their little feet. Five year old Kellon Oldenettel was the little boy making his wish list last Christmas when he asked his mom if it was true that little kids like him really didn’t have something as simple as socks. A collection of socks spiraled from there; last year Kellon, his school and the community helped to collect 1,252 pairs of socks that were gifted to those in need.
Kellon has now been awarded 1 of 6 of GenerationOn’s Hasbro Community Action Hero Awards for 2014 and just recently received an email asking him if he’d like to be a Hasbro “Joy Maker,” distributing toys to youth in the area. He is quoted as saying, “When you are nice, other people might be nice back, and then maybe they will do something nice for other people.” The website for The Joy Maker Challenge describes the challenge as a project that “connects students in grades K-12 to meaningful, hands-on service projects during the holiday season. From November 10 through December 10, for each action a child or teen takes to help others, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots – up to $1 million dollars’ worth of toys and games.” Find out more at http://generationon.org/joymaker.
The community can make a difference. The Joy Maker Challenge runs until December 10. All you need to do is register online. Other six-year olds like Kellon and kids in grades K-12 can participate. Gosh, even teachers, administrators or staff can take part. It’s free and easy as can be to sign up your school for the challenge. It is a great way to being a caring school community, coming together and helping cultivate the notion of service, a movement of change. Kellon Oldenettel has been given the opportunity to distribute 100 toys donated by Hasbro to our local organizations. He is asked to help mobilize and encourage more youth to participate – he’s even challenged his little brother to answer the call to give. His Kindergarten class at Salem Lutheran School is on board, and you can be, too! There are numerous ways to give of yourself to others through community service or service activities. Check out our “clip me, save me and do me” list in this issue. Make a difference this season. Then, keep it up! Be a joy maker.
100 ideas for giving
This project being brought to you by Kellon Oldenettel, Salem Lutheran School, The Source and WEAI/WLDS.
Students, families with youth and schools are encouraged to register their project ideas at www. http://generationon.org/joymaker. In recognition of the 100 gifts being donated in Kellon’s honor to donate to the local area, he and his family have come up with a list of 100 Ideas for Youth and Families to do together:
● Purchase new socks and donate them to Kellon’s Sock Drawer (Collection Boxes are at the Farmers State Bank & Trust Company, Miss Polly’s Music Class, Re/Max Results Plus, Franklin State Bank, Salem Lutheran School, Hertzburg New Methods) Call (217)370-4597 if you would like a box at your place of business.
● Donate used children’s books to Beckham’s Bookshelf. Call (217)370-4597 for delivery.
● Purchase, make or donate new scarves, hats and gloves to the Jacksonville Visitors and Conventions Bureau.
● Illinois College Trio Program is collecting gently used or new coats.
● Volunteer to rake and bag your neighbor’s leaves.
● Start a food drive and donate food to a local food shelter – Jacksonville Food Center.
● Get a group together and ring bells for the Salvation Army.
● Take up a collection and purchase toys for – Toy for Tots.
● Purchase diapers and donate them to new moms – Morgan County Health Department.
● Visit residents at a nursing home, especially those without family.
● Purchase tickets from a Pilot Club member for the Home Tour – support community projects.
● Contact New Directions Warming and Cooling Shelter to sign-up to prepare a meal.
● Ask your friends and family to go through their closets and donate clothing.
● Volunteer to scoop snow from your neighbor’s sidewalks and driveway.
● Purchase dog food, paper towels, cleaners and donate them to PAWS.
● Call someone you love and TELL them you LOVE THEM.
● Start a straw free campaign: http://www.ecocycle.org/bestrawfreepledge.
● Walk dogs at the Morgan County Animal Shelter.
● Get involved with art projects and events at the Imagine Foundation.
● In the Spring, help plant a tree and help water it.
● Make Blackout kids for neighbors and friends ( a shoe box with a flashlight, batteries, candle, matches).
● Make sure everyone you know has a smoke and carbon dioxide detector.
● Donate shampoo, razors, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other personal hygene items to Personal Needs Pantry.
● Keep kits in your car with granola bars, crackers, and other snacks, along with a bottle of water to handout to the homeless.
● Ask your friends to donate to Teens for Jeans.
● Make thumb socks to fight texting and driving.
● Encourage family and friends to recycle and put recycling bins in your house – and encourage your school to recycle.
● Encourage groups, club, school or athletic team to raise $1200 to sponsor Mobile Food Pantry for those in need of food.
● Make an extra effort to SMILE and start a conversation with someone today.
● Invite someone NEW to sit with you at lunch or invite someone NEW to lunch.
● Start a hug campaign at your school to let people know you care about them.
● Invite your friends to be the cheering section for athletes competing in Special Olympics.
● Support Girls on the Run and consider being a coach.
● Pay it Forward – Buy someone’s groceries, meal or coffee – in front of or behind you in line.
● Remember Veterans. Send mail for Heroes to Veterans through Operation Gratitude, 5456, Capitol Height, MD 20791
● Make shoeboxes filled with small children’s toys, necessities for children through Operation Christmas Child or Samaritianspurse.org.
● Take up a collection or make something for your teachers or daycare providers to show them you appreciate them.
● Volunteer to help build a house through – Habitat for Humanity.
● Organize a Ride-Your-Bike or Walk-to-School Day to help the environment.
● Collect unused arts and craft items and donate them to schools, daycares or nursing homes.
● Set our food and water for animals and encourage others to do the same.
● Bake cookies or treats and give them to your mail delivery person, trash collector, or paper carrier.
● Learn to knit and make hats for those in need: http://www.kidknits.org/
● Volunteer to help sort donated items at the Salvation Army or In His Service.
● Organize your friends and go Christmas caroling and leave cookies at each house where you sing.
● Bake cookies or treats and deliver them to First Responders to show your appreciation for what they do every day.
● Let someone behind you in line go in front of you.
● Elf on the Shelf? Ask you Elf to do something kind for someone in your family and then ask that family member to pass it on.
● Make no-sew tie blankets and donate them to nursing homes or homeless shelter – Project Linus.
● Run or walk in a 5K to support a charity.
● Volunteer to make a meal for the Ronald McDonald House.
● Encourage children to make an annual donation with their money to a local charity – even the Salvation Army Kettles.
● Donate pencils to: http://www.thepencilproject.com/index.html
● Artistic? – Volunteer to paint a mural over graffiti.
● Carry out groceries for someone in need.
● Make a point to introduce yourself to someone living in your neighborhood.
● Tell a friend “Thank you” for any act of thoughtfulness.
● Make no-sew scarves.
● Leave laundry detergent tied with a ribbon and a bag of quarters at the laundromat.
● Take a get well balloon to the hospital and leave it for a nurse to give to someone who is alone.
● Leave a gift card on the table of a stranger at a restaurant and walk out.
● Share your talent by being a guest speaker to young people and teach/show them what you do.
● Hold a spa day or a local nursing home residents.
● Offer to pull weeds around your school, neighbor’s yard or at a park.
● Write letters to sick children at St. Jude’s Hospital.
● Volunteer to wrap presents for an elderly neighbor, someone disabled or injured.
● Gather your friends & family and perform at a local nursing home (magic, music, singing, etc).
● Leave candy canes with a note on people’s windshields saying: “MERRY CHRISTMAS! Today we are out spreading holiday cheer. Now it’s your turn to tag someone else! Have a Happy Holiday.”
● Read to a child.
● Start an campaign – stressing the importance of hand-washing.
● 12 days of Christmas – this is perfect for someone who has little family or know will be alone this holiday. Day 1: Merry Christmas. We are your secret shepherd and we are making this holidays fun. Don’t try to find out who we are until our work is done. One day in December we will come singing and bringing our last and best gifts with us and though our singing may sound sappy. We hope it makes you happy!
● Sponsor a child: http://www.compassion.com/default.htm
● Take an angel from an Angel Tree.
● Help return carts to the cart return .
● Gather your friends for a baby shower and donate all the gifts to the Crisis Center or Morgan County Health Department.
● Offer to read to people in a nursing home.
● Donate your hair to Locks of Love.
● Pick up trash in parking lots, schools play grounds, parks and in neighborhoods.
● Take a first-aid class.
● Tutor a child.
● Collect school supplies and book bags and donate them to schools for children in need.
● Start an anti-smoking campaign to encourage kids to not smoke.
● Work with law enforcement to start a bicycling safety campaign in schools.
● Make door decorations for senior citizens living in a nursing home.
● Collect shoes and donate them to the Shoeman’s Project at Salem Lutheran Church.
● Someone you know just have a baby, lose a loved one? Take a meal to them.
● Offer to babysit for FREE for parents so they can go Christmas shopping or have a night out.
● Play games and donate rice to those in need at the same time. http://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary/1386
● Write kind messages about your neighbors in sidewalk chart in front of their house.
● Volunteer to be a camp counselor.
● Volunteer to serve on a non-profit board.
● Volunteer to become a Big Brother or Big Sister..
● Put together a community workshop to promote proper nutrition, food proportions, meal preparation, healthy eating, and proper exercise, etc.
● Give Blood.
● Donate Children’s DVD’s to: http://www.kidflicks.org/donate/
● Make a disaster preparedness kit for your home: http://arcbrcr.org/
● Organize an event to teach high school students and their parents how to fill out financial aid forms and college applications.
● Collect unused eye glasses at school for a glasses recycling project.