The holidays are upon us. ‘Tis the season for celebrations of faith and family. ‘Tis the season of giving. Let’s be honest, for many children the getting starts to get in the way of the giving. Santa is busy filling gift lists made by children around the world. It can be hard to really teach our children and remind ourselves of the reason for the season with all gift giving, elf moving, cookie making, present wrapping and so on and so forth. We move through the month in a holiday haze until Christmas Eve comes and our children leave milk and cookies for Santa before they go to bed.
I think we all know Santa doesn’t need any more milk. And let’s be honest, no one would feel good if he drank millions of cups in one night. I think our kids would understand this.
So, what if we talked to our kids about the families that do need milk? It is something so easy for kids to understand. We drink milk for strong bones and healthy bodies. That glass of milk we leave for Santa could be given to a child who doesn’t have any money for protein-rich milk. It is that simple. Donations start at just $5, so this is a gift your child could give to another. If your kids are anything like mine, being able to do something by themselves is big. This month, donations will be matched, so their generosity will go twice as far. Of course, your grown-up donation will be matched as well, so I encourage you to give what you can.
I’m not sure we all know how much food banks need milk. I almost could not believe this. On average, food banks receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. Say what? We take down that much every couple days. Milk has 8 grams of high-quality protein per serving and three of the top nutrients most likely to be missing in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and potassium. For families who struggle for nutrition rich food, milk can be a game changer.
It makes sense. I had simply never thought about it. At our school the 1st graders volunteer at a local food bank, Loaves and Fishes, each week. We take a group to the church food bank and the kids help to put all the food items in the right places. We separate hundreds of butter sticks and put dozens of eggs into smaller containers. We organize the shelves and put away newly donated goods. We talk to the kids about what we are doing and why we do this. We talk about the families that “shop” at the food bank and what a blessing this place is. The kids ask about why the families can’t just take the whole dozen eggs or all 4 sticks of butter. We have to talk to them about how the food bank works and that there is not enough to give families that much. It is a tough conversation, but a good one. I have noticed, we do not see a lot of milk. I just never really thought about the fact that it just isn’t often donated.
Lets Give in Gallons this holiday season, and throughout the year.
Milk Life aims to change this in partnership with Feeding America. To date, 194,000 gallons have been donated. This number can and should be a lot higher. You can make a donation at The Great American Milk Drive. Donations are tax deductible and they just feel good. In this case, they “Do a Body Good”. You can put in your zip code and know that your donation will be helping a food bank in your area. If I can suggest that at some point you visit your local food bank as a family and consider volunteering, I can tell you it will give you and your kids a much better perspective on the day to day lives on families in your community.
This message is so easy for kids, especially those who love milk. Violet is 4 and she’s pretty pumped. She just donated all of her coins in the Coins for Kids drive at her school and when I told her about giving milk, she tried to buy one right then and there. She was out of coins though. We are making a deal. All of my kids will donate or do work to earn at least $5 to donate. My husband and I will donate matching amounts to theirs plus an annual amount that we will now include in our charitable giving. I hope you will consider giving milk too.
I will be sending this post on to my kids’ teachers and hoping that our classrooms can help in making donations to supply our fellow Charlotte families with the gift of milk this season and throughout the year. I think this is a concept that is so simple to understand and to help make a difference.
You can check out this video from Milk Life and show your kids. You can have them write a note to Santa telling him how excited they are to share their gift to him, helping him help other children. You can literally share your milk mustache with others and that is a special thing. Don’t forget to share the message with friends and family. You can post your milk pics and giving all over social media to help spread the word on this #MilkDrive.
If you haven’t done so yet, you can Donate Milk Here.
Thank you so much for helping make the holidays happier for families all over America.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.