Blog Home > Archive (February, 2015)

Earlier this week was Random Acts of Kindness Day, which celebrates the importance of kindness and caring. Teaching children the value of kindness and caring can be a daunting task. Harvard University’s Making Caring Common project provides five  ways to foster kindness and caring in your child.

1. Make developing caring, loving relationships with your children an important priority.

To learn to be compassionate and kind, children need their parents to maintain healthy, loving relationships with them. Parents can create these relationships by spending time with their children, paying attention to their children’s physical and emotional needs, and discussing their children’s feelings.  Setting aside regular times to spend with your children and engaging them in meaningful conversation whenever the opportunity arises also helps them feel cared for and loved.

2. Encourage children to expand their social circles beyond their family and friends.

Most children care deeply about their small circle of family and friends, but they need encouragement to expand that circle beyond those few key individuals. Children will learn to express empathy for others if you talk with them about children they know who are facing challenges or needs (for example, the new kid on the block, or someone who is struggling with a disability) and encourage them to listen to people who are different than they are.

3. Look for opportunities to practice caring for others in some way.

We want children to be kind, caring, and grateful. In order to develop those traits, however, children need repetition and practice. You can help your child develop these characteristics in a number of ways. For example, you can encourage your child to develop a sense of fairness by finding ways for him or her to pitch in around the house. Or ask your child to collect empty bottles, take them to a recycling center that pays for the items that you bring in, and then take your child to the supermarket and have him or her drop the money in the donation jar at the checkout line. Make sure to acknowledge when your child has done a kind deed—unless you point it out, they will not know that they have been kind!

4. Act as a role model for children by modeling kindness and compassion yourself.

Children learn how to treat others by watching their parents and friends. When providing a model for your children to emulate, remember to use both words and deeds.  For example, you might thank the pizza delivery guy, be a good neighbor and take your neighbor’s trash can out to the curb for trash pickup, or model humility and honesty by admitting your own mistakes and saying you’re sorry.

5. Help children learn how to manage their feelings more effectively.

Children often experience frustration, have meltdowns, and otherwise act impulsively and need help learning how to manage those strong feelings. Rather than telling your child that he or she is overreacting when he or she gets upset, teach your children to deal with strong feelings, including frustration, anger, jealousy, or embarrassment, more effectively. To do so, remind your children that all feelings are OK. After encouraging them to identify negative feelings, show them to more effectively manage those feelings by stopping, taking some deep breaths, and counting to five or ten when they are frustrated or upset.

 

Remember that being kind should not be reserved for just one day. Make it your focus to spread kindness throughout the entire year.

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1. How long have you lived in this community?

I relocated to this community in 1990, so I have lived here for about 25 years. 

2. What is your occupation?

I wear many hats as the President/CEO of Elite Travel, Inc. My main focus is a travel expert, bringing over 30 years of personal world travel experience. 

3. What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about my children, Skyler and Levi. My two boys are kind, hard working and strong in their faith...what more could I ask for? I am also passionate about my relationship with God and living a life on integrity. I often miss the mark, but I try my hardest to live a life of purpose. 

4. What are your hobbies?

The obvious answer is traveling - I love a beautiful hotel and great scenic vistas and views! I also enjoy photography, art, coffee, experiencing new and exciting foods, theater (especially Phantom of the Opera and Wicked!), boutique shops and unique items. Something that most probably don't know about me is my love for playing Scrabble and Bible Trivia!

5. What do you love most about this community?

What I love most about this community are the people that live here and the sense of community that has been created. I have developed a lifetime of great relationships! People in Southeast Missouri tend to give more than they receive and are happy to help advance the good of others - they are people with a heart. 

6. How long have you been a United Way donor?

I have been donating to United Way for the past two years. 

7. Why do you choose to support your community through United Way?

As I became more involved in the community, I began to see what a difference United Way is making. The more I got involved by attending United Way events, volunteering for Read to Succeed and learning about GRACES, I saw that the organization is making a real difference in my own back yard. Cape Girardeau is where I live, work and have raised my children, so I want to leave a good legacy here. As a small business owner, and personally, I believe in United Way's mission and see it changing lives daily. 

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1. How long have you lived in this community?

I am a native of Southeast Missouri and will likely never leave the area. 

2. What is your occupation?

I am a Commercial Loans Relationship Manager with Commerce Bank in Cape Girardeau.  

3. What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about each day I have on this earth and strive to make a positive impact on every person in my life. 

4. What are your hobbies?

I enjoy nearly anything that involves being outdoors. I attempt to play golf as often as my schedule allows and I really enjoy lawn care/landscaping. 

5. What do you love most about this community?

I love the diversity in our community. Southeast Missouri is full of diversity from its people to its businesses, activities, and geography. 

6. How long have you been a United Way donor?

I have donated to United Way for 5 years.  

7. Why do you choose to support your community through United Way?

There are many people in our community who desire a greater life or who are capable of doing great things and all they need is the support to get them started. My parents got me off to a great start and prepared for the real world. Unfortunately, many people do not have the same blessing. United Way is a great organization that can give a child, adult or family the support they need to become successful or simply help out in a time of need. I choose to donate to United Way because I like knowing that my donation goes to work right here in Southeast Missouri. 

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Think you know poverty?

Think you know poverty? Take this quiz

 

1. Inequality of incomes has improved in the last 25 years. (True/False)

2. People graduate from college to become doctors, lawyers, politicians, judges, social workers, educators and fill many other professions without ever having studied the history of poverty --its structural causes, or the models we have used to address poverty in America. (True/False)

3. People earning minimum wage are able to afford a modest, two bedroom apartment in America. (True/False)

4. The Federal Poverty Guideline is an accurate indicator of how many people live in poverty in America. (True/False)

5. The majority of American’s believe poverty is caused by people’s behavior and bad choices. (True/False)

6. Prison will solve poverty related problems. (True/False)

7. People in poverty are to blame for drugs, alcohol, sex abuse, child abuse, domestic violence and other social ills. (True/False)

8. Parents who do not go to school conferences must not care about their children. (True/False)

9. Head Start, the preschool program designed for children in poverty, is available to all four-year old who live in poverty. (True/False)

10. People get rich by begging on the streets, getting welfare and having babies to get more welfare. (True/False)

11. People in poverty are irresponsible because they buy cable television, cigarettes, and Nike shoes. (True/False)

12. If you work hard, you will move up the economic ladder in the American labor market. (True/False)

Check out the answers here

Source: Communications Across Barriers

 

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Donor Spotlight: Dru Reeves

1. How long have you lived in this community?

I have lived in Southeast Missouri since 1973. 

2. What is your occupation?

I am the General Manager (wearer of many hats) at Horizon Screen Printing. I also serve as a Sergeant First Class (Petroleum Supply Instructor) in the U.S. Army Reserve. 

3. What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about motorcycling and my family. 

4. What are your hobbies?

Chameleons...we have seven of them! And motorcycling of course :)

5. What do you love most about this community?

I love that the community is not too big, but it also isn't too small. It is close enough to St. Louis and a great place to raise a family. 

6. How long have you been a United Way donor?

I have been a donor of United Way for 15+ years. 

7. Why do you choose to support your community through United Way?

United Way makes it easy to combine my donations with other folks to make a wider spread impact on the community. 

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