Giving Families' Good Mail Challenge for April 2016

This month's Challenge is to clean up litter at your local park.

It was inspired by my two kids, Harper and Frank's fascination with picking up trash at their favorite park last Spring after all the snow had melted.

We did this so often, it became a bit of a game, trying to find as much litter as possible.

Traveling from one park to the next, we'd pick up trash for 10 minutes or so before playing for another 10 minutes or so... then move on to another park to repeat the process.

Funny thing is, EVERYWHERE we went, other kids would ALWAYS join in:



Ready to make memories while making a difference?

Here's how...


Find a park. 

Not sure where to go? Use this awesome search tool (or this one!) to find parks in your area.

TIP: Select a park you haven't been to, making this an extra special outing!


Get prepared.

Before grabbing a garbage bag and gloves or hand sanitizer, review important rules like staying together and NOT picking up sharp objects (like broken glass).

TIP 1: No need to use latex or nitrile gloves! Winter gloves work just as well (and can be washed afterwards).

TIP 2: Most children are familiar with the concept of litter, but many don't understand all the problems it can create. Ask your child these questions to spark some interest and find out what he/she already knows:

        • What is litter?
        • Where does it come from?
        • Why do you think people litter?
        • How do you feel about seeing litter?
        • What kind of problems do you think it causes?

The truth is, aside from looking bad, litter causes LOTS of problems because it usually ends up in rivers and streams, polluting the water for fish and killing other wildlife, including birds, ducks, swans, and geese who tend to eat small objects, like cigarette butts and bottle caps.

TIP 3: Print out a copy of our Litter Scavenger Hunt to take along with you, seeing how many objects you can find!



Clean up litter.

Visiting a park or two, spend 10-15 minutes cleaning up before running and playing.

TIP: Try visiting two parks in one day, cleaning up for 10 minutes before playing for 10 minutes... then, hop in the car and visit another park, repeating the process. (We call this a "Park Crawl." Get it?!?:)


Have a question? Want to share a tip?

Check out our 'forum' on Giving Families' Facebook page where parents can communicate with one another about each month's Challenge, asking questions and/or submitting tips!

TIP: If you 'Like' the post, you'll receive updates!


Reflect on your experiences.

Print off a copy of our journaling page, then answer the questions on the front and draw a picture of you and your family completing the Challenge on the back: 



Tell us about your adventure!

Please help us inspire more families to make memories while making a difference by sharing photos of your family completing this month's Challenge with others via your various social media platforms.

If you tag them with @GivingFamilies and/or #GoodMailChallenge, we'll get to see them, and share them, too. Thanks so much for helping us spread the word! 


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