Wednesday, April 7, 2010

3...2...1...Blastoff!!


I am so excited to OFFICIALLY launch Operation KidConnect today on "Not Just A..."

In case you missed my INTRODUCTION to the project, click here.
If you missed finding out WHO THE KIDS ARE, click here.

There! Now that you're all caught up, we can begin.

Operation KidConnect was formed out of my desire for stronger relationships and connections with the kids in my life. Kids need a lot of encouragement, and here are just a few reasons why:

* According to SafeYouth.org, almost 30% of youth (or over 5.7 million) are estimated to be involved in bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying, or both.

* We've all heard the statistic: "50% of American marriages end in divorce." While widely disputed (and I'm not at ALL sure about the validity of the claim), no one would dispute the fact that divorce is prevalent in our society, and it involves children. There are custody issues, visitations, and other stressful things that are now a part of children's lives at a much earlier age.

* According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the THIRD leading cause of death for young people 10 to 19 years old in 2000. In that year alone, 1921 young people ages 10 to 19 took their own lives.

Children face, head-on, more issues than I knew existed when I was their age. They need our encouragement to "Keep Calm and Carry On."
Here's how this is going to work: Hallmark has provided me with some great cards from their new Kids Collection. Every Wednesday I plan to review a card and tell you how I'm going to use it. The following Wednesday I'll give you a follow-up on the previous week's card, as well. You know, opening up and reaching out to children (who may or may not be cooler than you--it's okay, just admit it) is a little bit scary. What if it doesn't work? What if he/she thinks I'm a dweeb? Well I'm here to help you (and me) through those anxieties and encourage us all to connect with these kids. Each week I'll also add a MckLinky so you can follow along with others who want to be more intentional about connecting with the children in their lives. All you have to do is write a post on your blog and enter the address into our MckLinky. Let's all support each other!
So this week, I plan to use this card:
I really like this card and I think it's a good fit for the ages I want to connect with: 9-13. It's culturally relevant, with the whole "ear bud" thing, but it's not TRYING to be cool. The inside message in effect admits that the sender is somewhat old-fashioned. Since my niece and nephews probably hear me say "when I was your age" waaaaay too much, this one will make them laugh.

It will be mailed via pony express, er, I mean, US Postal Service to ALL FOUR of the children (all four of them receiving one single card--let's see if they fight over it! That will be the true test of whether it's cool or not!), and I'll write a personal message on the inside.

So....how about you? How are you going to connect with those special kiddos this week? Also, what are some of your worries or anxieties about making this intentional effort to connect?



**Disclosure: Hallmark gave me the cards and nothing else for this project. The opinions expressed in my review are my own.**

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