Kids of all ages learn the value of helping others in Little Helpers DFW, a group that started in October and now involves almost 500 families in Northeast Tarrant County.
Michelle Carter said she put a post on Facebook, asking families if they wanted to start a Little Helpers group so kids of all ages could volunteer on service projects together. The response was overwhelming.
This month, they’ve hand tied fleece blankets for the Linus Project, a charity that collects warm blankets to give to children in hospitals.
In November, they collected food and put together Thanksgiving baskets for all the children and house parents at Christ’s Haven for Children in Keller.
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Kids rang bells and collected donations for Salvation Army at Central Market in Colleyville in December, raising more than $1,000.
“I think the community was looking for something like this,” Carter said. “All we ask for are minor supplies.”
Carter and her family moved to Colleyville from Memphis, Tenn., about a year ago. She and her kids, ages 8 and 3, were involved in a Little Helpers group in Memphis, where the organization started in 2010.
Now there are Little Helpers groups all over the country, including Las Vegas, Denver, Charlotte, Atlanta, Fairfield, Conn., and Rochester, N.Y.
The concept is simple. A few parents plan the activities and post sign-up sheets for basic materials. Parents bring their kids to do the projects, with younger children getting assistance from mom or dad.
So far, the group has averaged two activities a month.
Keller mom Bernadette Kelly saw Carter’s Facebook post and was one of the many parents who decided to get involved.
“I have had a really hard time finding things we can do together,” Kelly said.
Her children are 11, 7 and 4. Daughter Madeline Kelly, 11, enjoys the chance to work together with other kids to help those in need.
“It shows other people that if kids can do it, then adults can do it, too,” Madeline said. “We can make the world a better place.”
Brooke Barker, a mom from Colleyville, said her children, ages 3, 4 and 9, enjoy being a part of Little Helpers.
“They love it because they often actually see who they are helping,” Barker said.
With the Thanksgiving boxes, a group of kids and parents delivered them to the six cottages at Christ’s Haven where children and house parents live. The whole idea is to make giving back a life-long habit, Carter said.
“There’s a bunch of things we need to do to help people,” said nine-year-old S. J. Barker.
For more information on Little Helpers DFW, like the group’s Facebook page.