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Nature and nurture

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” 

John Muir

I grew up the daughter of a recycler, my dad used to tell us he was a trash man. He began recycling paper in the late 1960’s long before it was trendy or cool to be green. To my dad it was something that just made sense. He came from a generation that fixed everything and threw nothing away and we were taught to do the same. To us we thought it was kind of cool when he ran the newspaper recycling drives at our school and later in life when he was the member of international recycling boards but to my dad he was simply a garbologist.

Now retired, my dad spends a good chunk of his time doing organic gardening and raising a huge portion of the food he eats. Again, not to be trendy, but more because it just makes sense. So this week when you read Wednesday’s post about a young girl who fell in love with gardening and inspired an incredible nonprofit called Katie’s Krops think for a moment how one simple action such as planting a seed can create such change.

Later in the week we will circle back with Grades of Green. I recently talked with the incredible organization that is not only greening our schools but they are inspiring a generation to take care of our planet, to recycle and to make good choices for our beloved earth.

Only a week out from the tragedy in Las Vegas, I am ready to be uplifted, inspired, reminded of our human connection and think that John Muir’s words still ring true over one hundred years since his death. When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” 

Charity Matters.

 

Sharing is caring, if you are so moved or inspired, we would love you to pass the torch/post and inspire another.

Copyright © 2017 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Back to school: Philanthrophy

photo via: Grades of Green
photo via: Grades of Green

Today was my sons first day back to school. Along with the traditional photo-op on the front porch, the new shoes and sharpened pencils comes another opportunity. One more year to think about how to plant the seeds of compassion in my sons.  What are a few ways to get them thinking this school year about ways to help another?

1. The first suggestion is to ask your children what they think they can do. You will be shocked and inspired by their ideas. When I asked my high school son his plans for philanthropy this year, he responded that he was going to continue reading to low-income students who struggle at Reading Partners, his adopted cause. It is a wonderful organization where you commit to one or two students a couple of times a week and make real one and one impact.

2. For my younger son, he prefers the team approach. Like all good ideas, especially involving kids, they are usually best involving friends. Get a group together and make a plan. It can be as big as adopting a low-income school with your school or as small as creating a back to school backpack stuffing party for the local family homeless shelter in your neighborhood. He will do anything if it involves a team effort.

3. Find out what the school has planned and encourage your kids to get involved. If the school doesn’t have a philanthropy, suggest one. One of my favorites is Grades of Green. Grades of Green is an amazing organization that teaches children how to make their schools greener and be environmentally aware of simple things that make a universal impact. In addition to being a great organization for any school or team, they also have a new Youth Corp for future environmental leaders.

There are so many ways to plant the seed of compassion in your student. Once that seeds takes root, it is up to us to nurture and develop all the wonderful possibilities that go along with new pencils and a new year of possibilities.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2014 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

More than making the grade..Grades of Green

GradesofGreen+Annual+ClUcYEl7fxYl“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” That infamous Margaret Mead quote is what came to mind after my inspiring conversation with Grades of Green’s Kim Martin

Six and a half years ago, Kim Martin was an environmental attorney with young children in elementary school.  She befriended 3 other like-minded mom’s; Lisa Coppedge, Shaya Kirkpatrick and Suzanne Kretschmer, who had been deeply impacted by Al Gore’s environmental movie, An Inconvenient Truth. The four of them began working together to find creative ways to green their school. Before long, these savvy moms and their school were winning national awards for their efforts and making an amazing impact on their youth, school and community.

They realized that they were truly onto something much bigger as their initial students moved onto middle school and began asking questions about where were the recycling containers and why was the school using styrofoam? Moments like these prompted the four women to take their extraordinary volunteer efforts to the next level and three years ago they founded the non-profit, Grades of Green.

Their mission is simply to inspire and empower kids and the broader school community to care for the environment. The vision of Grades of Green is to make environmental protection second nature in young minds.

Their website breaks down initiatives for individuals and schools to make small and simple changes that have big impacts. Things such as Walk to School Wednesdays, (de)Tox Thursdays, Campus composting and Electricity Challenges. All these activities are free, simple, easy and impact full. The kids learn by doing, not by lecture. The founders’ dream is that this next generation lives in harmony with the earth and that all their decisions big and small reference that point.

What started as a small thoughtful group of committed citizens has already begun to change our world. Today, Grades of Green is in more than 209 schools, in 30 states and has worked with over 130,268 children and counting. That small thoughtful group has become a large one and as their motto says, “Every shade makes a difference.”

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.