After the March 3 tornadoes tore through the Middle Tennessee area, we have seen a huge effort from the community to address needs and provide support. This is super crazy awesome, but as a friend of mine said yesterday, there is so much more to do. This friend is a teacher and lives in Mt. Juliet, where schools were hard-hit and are needing to find other schools to host their students during the rebuild efforts. For this and other long-term challenges, she expressed concern about what will happen once the volunteers go back to their routines.
Enter Mighty Kids. While many of the cleanup and rebuilding efforts will require grownup support, there are still so many ways in which kids can help, and if we give them the opportunity, I can’t wait to see can do. This is, after all, so much of what Taste Quest is about: giving kids motivation and agency for real life positive change. Imagine the possibilities if kids were to harness this agency and make a difference for neighbors in need!
Here are some ideas for how to support Tornado relief with your kids, some of which you can do from your own homes. AND! It’s almost Spring Break, so call it a Spring Break Adventure! If you have more ideas to add to this list, email me now!
- PANTRY CHALLENGE! Send your kids to your shelves and ask them to hunt for some items to give away. Second Harvest and the Nashville Food Project are still collecting food and supplies donations. Second Harvest says that he most essential food items needed include: pop-top canned meats, vegetables and fruit; ready-to-eat soups and stews; peanut butter and crackers; cereal; and breakfast /energy bars. Second Harvest accepts donations both at their main location but also at all donations boxes located at Kroger stores.
LEVEL UP! With Taste Quest, playing with our food is key. How might you turn this experience into a game? Perhaps your kids could form a team with some friends and see how many pounds of food they can collect from neighbors? Perhaps this could be a scavenger hunt! Or they could write riddles for each other and the answers could be items on Second Harvest’s list? Get creative! Post what you do with #tastequest and #kidshelpingkids.
- GROCERY GAMES! Since Second Harvest already has donation boxes at Kroger, bring your kids shopping and ask them to see how many items they can buy on a budget? For instance, $10 could by 10 cans of beans, or 5 cans of beans, 3 cans of pineapple, and 1 energy bar! See what combos they come up with and post what you do with #tastequest and #kidshelpingkids.
- BAKE SALE/LEMONADE STAND! What’s not to love…baking, business skills, and helping neighbors in need? Let’s do it! Post what you do with #tastequest and #kidshelpingkids. With financial contributions, most of Nashville is directing their gifts toward the Community Foundation, but if your family is interested in helping kids specifically, here are some ideas for organizations:
– YCAP, a YMCA program serving kids in East Nashville: YCAP’s headquarters was destroyed by the tornado, and they have a long path ahead of them to recovery. Taste Quest has partnered with YCAP’s after school program a couple times now, and would really appreciate your help.
– Corner to Corner, a ministry seeking creative ways to serve neighbors in East Nashville: Another one of Taste Quest’s partners, the Corner to Corner team is deep in the recovery effort, and could certainly use your support.
– Gideon’s Army, a nonprofit seeking to interrupt the school to prison pipeline: They have been tirelessly distributing supplies as part of their Rebuild North Nashville Effort, but are requesting financial support as well.
– Feed the Children, a national organization addressing child hunger: They have a specific fund for disaster relief here.
- CARE PACKAGES! Host a gathering of kiddos and set up an assembly line of items of supplies ranging from toilet paper to chocolate bars to notes of encouragement. For the folks still without homes, these gifts will encourage them and let them know that their neighbors will continue to care for them through the long haul. Post about the experience with #tastequest and #kidshelpingkids.
Thank you all for the many ways you are supporting our city and region in this time of crisis! So excited to see how the kids can help.