Not every person in Kansas City lives above the poverty line. In fact, not every kid that goes to school with your kiddos lives above the poverty line. And if I take it even a step farther, 60% of the kids that go to school with my kiddos aren’t living above the poverty line.
I’ve watched kids leave school on Friday afternoon with blue backpacks filled with food because otherwise they may not eat during the weekend. I’ve seen kids go bananas for a new toothbrush and toothpaste because they’ve never had one before or had to share one with a sibling. I’ve watched smiles as big as a rainbow at receiving new socks and underwear.
And honestly, peanut butter with crackers, toothbrushes and socks should not be considered a luxury to an eight year old.
What is the most shocking, to me, is that every year students in the United States miss more than 51 million hours of school due to dental-related illness. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, and if left untreated, it can affect children’s ability to eat, speak, learn, and play. As a person who lives in one the wealthiest counties in the nation, that is simply unacceptable.
Champions for Kids and SIMPLE Giving are partnering with local Walmart stores to make it easier to get kids the items they need. Last year, donations for the SIMPLE Giving Program provided over 20,000 children with new toothbrushes and toothpaste. This year, the purple SIMPLE Giving donations boxes are in over 1,400 Walmart stores (with over 20 in the Kansas City area), making it easy for any of us to donate toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and other hygiene items.
In addition, Champions for Kids teamed up with Colgate to spread the importance of healthy oral care habits. Colgate donated $100,000 of oral care products to help children in need. All of the donations go to children in the school district (SMSD, Blue Valley, Liberty, Grandview, Harrisonville, Blue Springs, Leavenworth, and more) where the participating Walmart store is located. For school nurses who are strapped for cash due to budget cuts, these new supplies are a god-send.
If you missed the opportunity to donate, don’t worry, you can still do some amazingness in your community through the SIMPLE Service Project. These easy service project ideas take only four people and a desire to make a difference.
I firmly believe that learning how to strategic shop and stockpile has allowed me the ability to give more freely to people and organizations in need. I think couponers are some of the most generous people I know…always ready to raid their stockpiles and hand over a grocery bag filled with resources. So the next time you are in a Walmart, look for the purple SIMPLE GIVING boxes and think about giving a couple of toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste, or hand soap away.
Because it would be a better world if those three things were not considered a luxury to so many little kids.
Disclosure: This post was written on behalf of Champions for Kids and The Motherhood. However, the written remarks and opinions about donating and serving in the community are entirely my own. Want more information – check out my full disclosure statement.