I have been watching that oily mess of a situation along the Gulf Coast from a distance with such a heavy heart. Dreading the inevitable waves of loss, wondering how this will ever really be cleaned up, and feeling so helpless, until last week when I learned of Craft Hope's current project (thanks to Kristin's post). Suddenly, I felt invigorated and excited to have something concrete to do. And then I got even more excited when I realized that this was also a project my kids could do, too. It's not always easy to find volunteer projects for kids, but here was one that was not only do-able, but one that has great meaning to us as a family with strong connections to the Gulf Coast and also a family that dearly loves the natural world that surrounds us.
We sorted through our closets and chose to re-purpose old clothes and sheets. My son and two of his friends eagerly got to work, cutting off zippers and elastic waists. We then cut them down into 10in x 10 inch squares. These squares will be used to wipe oil off of turtles, dolphins, pelicans, and other wildlife impacted by the Gulf Oil spill. If you choose to participate,you can sew, knit, crochet, or just cut rags (like we did). Please use cotton materials. They are also requesting donations of Dawn liquid soap (here's why). You can get more information at the Craft Hope site.
In addition to the Craft Hope Project, there is another family friendly project involving donations of hair and pet fur. Yes, hair and pet fur. Visit Matter of Trust to get the details. For even more ideas of how kids can help, take a peek at this article on More 4 Kids. And if you know of other projects related to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, please share them.
The National Wildlife Federation has a good guide with age specific suggestions on how to talk with your kids about the Gulf Oil Spill. Has this been a topic of conversation in your house recently? Have other incidents of natural or man made disasters spurred similar conversations or volunteer projects with your kids? Or does your family have an on-going conservation project?