Applebee’s workers volunteer for Staten Island Youngsters!

Scrumptious lunch and dinner entrees and a great place to meet with friends or co-workers after work, Applebee’s has become a well-known family friendly restaurant.  In Staten Island, New York, three Applebee’s locations have gathered to prepare and serve breakfast to help raise money for the “Staten Island Children’s Campaign.”  This Neighborhood Bar and Grill has been doing this ever year for 17 years!

Read more about each employees comment on what this extraordinary event brings for them and the kids in their community!

Little Helpers Can Make a Big Difference

On November 16th, more than 200 kids, parents, and Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills (JLOSH) members participated in a Kids For Kids event.  Together they were able to assemble 1,200 Bonus Bags that contained essential winter items and dental hygiene items to children in “Maplewood, Orange and South Orange through the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s weekend meal program.”  In addition to these Bonus Bags, the volunteers and little helpers also put together more than 500 healthy snack bags that were distributed to homeless children served in after school programs.

What a wonderful article! To read entire article click here. If you know a child who has volunteered, let us know and we will feature them in our next Random Act of Kid-ness Blog! Send YOUR story to info@zimmermuseum.org

Volunteers help grandparents bring kids gifts for the holidays!

Volunteers help grandparents bring kids gifts for the holidays!

In 2010, it was estimated that over 2.7 million grandparents help in the care of their grandchildren. Through Sunbeam’s “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program,” located in Oklahoma City, Maxine Washington joins her grandparents as she shops for presents for other grandchildren that are less fortunate.  In addition to Maxine, Police Departments and TRIAD volunteers have been working together to raise money and shop for children’s gifts.

To read the entire article click here. We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Share with us what you are thankful for this year in the comments!

11-year-old ideas can make a world of difference

Eleven-year-old, Alex Lawson, came up with an idea that inspires children and adults around the world.  Although this event occurred a couple of years back, his kind heart and contribution truly moved us. When the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti happened, young Alex knew he wanted to help, especially since he read that over 50% of the population were kids.  He started to collect as many backpacks he could, old, new, or used, and they were taken to St. Lucie International Airport in Fort Pierce where supplies and aid workers were being flown to Haiti to help.

Reading about this story really inspires youth and adults to be hands on in giving back to our community. What a great read, click here for the full article!  Let us know if your child or someone you know would like to be featured in our next Random Act of Kid-ness blog.

Random Act of Kid-ness: Some Good News!

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness highlights a recent study done by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University that found that 9 out of 10 children between the ages of 8 and 10 give to charity. Not only that, but half of them volunteer! Kids like the ones who we blog about each week are doing incredible things for their communities, and we are so happy to hear that they are being recognized for their efforts.

You can read the full story here. And as always- send us your own RAKs. We may post yours next week!

Random Act of Kid-ness: Twin Girls (Zimmer Members!) Donate their Hair to Kids in Need

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Shoshana and Shayna Kleinman with their donated hair

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This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from… the Zimmer! 4 1/2 year old twins Shayna and Shoshana Kleinman are Zimmer regulars. They always had long flowing hair, until recently, when Zimmer staff noticed their beautiful short haircuts. The girls’ grandma explained that Shayna and Shoshana had donated their hair to an organization called Zichron MenachemThe Israeli Association for the Support of Children with Cancer and their Families.

“You are so lucky to have such beautiful hair. Some children get very sick and lose their hair. You have an opportunity to share with them and help them.”
They looked into many different organizations, but they picked Zichron Menachem  because of its connection to their Jewish heritage and its focus on donating the hair to children. The girls then decided that even though the minimum hair length to donate is 12″, they wanted to “grow as long as possible so we can give as much as we can.” They each eventually donated 16″ of hair to the organization! We are so proud of our Zimmer members Shayna and Shoshana Kleinman for reminding us that giving doesn’t have to cost a lot (or anything). We are so happy to highlight them as a RAK. Do you know a Zimmer visitor who has done a random act of kid-ness? Let us know!

Random Act of Kid-ness: 18 Year Old Leaves Inspiring Legacy

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from a teen who showed the world the importance of embracing happiness, even in the wake of darkness. 18 year old Zach Sobiech passed away early this week after a 4 year battle with osteosarcoma. But before he passed away, Zach decided to write a song as a goodbye to his friends and family, which touched the lives of millions of people when it went viral on YouTube. Zach inspired and continues to inspire children and adults to always maintain a positive outlook. His girlfriend Amy said:

“He’s shown me it’s not all about the grades you get, or how cool you are in high school. It’s about doing what makes you happy and no matter when you’re going go to, live life to the fullest every day.”

You can watch an emotional documentary on Zach’s journey here.  His family started the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund to support research into Zach’s rare form of cancer, so click the link to find out how you can lend your support. We are sending love to Zach’s family and friends. We are inspired by his message and think he epitomizes a Random Act of Kid-ness.

Random Act of Kid-ness: There’s a Monkey in My Chair

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Cincinnati, OH, where a group of kids from Piner Elementary School started a program to raise money for children with cancer. Since many of the kids know people who have cancer or who have lost their lives to cancer, they wanted to help out. They started with a program called Change Wars, where the students brought in change to raise money, and then they started selling hair bows. That fundraiser earned over $300 for children living with cancer.

There’s a Monkey in My Chair is a program that the students developed. Stuffed monkeys sit in their classrooms to represent kids who are in the hospital. “It reminds you that friend with cancer needs support, in school or outside it. ‘Having the monkey there, the kids can interact with the monkey, they can write letters to the monkey, and take pictures of the monkey doing silly stuff, in the room or where the children normally would be in. It makes the children think they are still there and that they care about them.'”

Some of the students at Piner Elementary have said:

“I feel really proud. I love helping people and I couldn’t find a way to until Koryn did, and that’s why I really wanted to do it.”

 “I think if they pictured themselves and they wouldn’t want someone to not help them.”

 “I feel proud that we helped them.” The teachers and staff here do too.

What a thoughtful program! We love this idea. To read more about There’s a Monkey in My Chair, click here.

Random Act of Kid-ness: Sleeping in Cold to Raise Money for Homeless

Homeless simulation influences kids to raise more money

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Dayton, IN, where 23 kids slept in cardboard boxes outdoors to raise money for the homeless. The kids are part of the Overhaul Youth Group from Dayton United Methodist Church, and they got sponsors to help them raise enough money- over $1400- to fill a food truck for the local homeless population. Their youth pastor Austin Bender said:

“A lot of them said they were just thankful for so many little things, like a bed or warmth.”

Because of this, the kids were even more determined to raise money because they realized how much they take for granted that homeless people live without.

To read more about this story, click here. As always, if you have suggestions for our next RAK, let us know!

Random Act of Kid-ness: Helping Homeless on Way to Chemotherapy

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Philadelphia, PA where first grader Ella Wilson brings food and blankets to the homeless people in her city every Thursday on her way to chemotherapy. Ella is getting treatment for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nerves. But to take her mind off her year-long treatment, she has decided to focus on making other people happy.

You can watch an inspiring video about Ella’s story and learn how you can help her raise money for neurofibromatosis research on her Facebook page here.

As always, we ask for your suggestions for our next RAK. Do you know someone who is doing random acts of kindness? Let us know!