June 2009

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Recipients of the successful SixSeed's project Operation Send-a-Box.
Networking Central

SixSeeds Asks America's Families to Answer National Call to Service

SixSeeds, a national non-profit promoting service and giving by families, today issued a challenge to America's families to complete at least one service project in 2009 and keep alive the renewed interest in volunteering generated by the presidential inaugural.

“If we all give in our own big and small ways, we can tap into American families' amazing potential for good, and we'll all benefit,” said Jean Kingston, who co-founded SixSeeds in the Boston area with her husband John. “Regardless of their political stripes, America's families can agree helping others enriches our own lives. When we serve as a family, we benefit from time spent together and by children learning from their parents about generosity and service.”

On the eve of his inauguration, President Barack Obama turned the national spotlight onto public service by helping to paint a teen homeless shelter in Washington, D.C., where he was quoted saying, “We can't allow any idle hands ... Everybody's got to be involved.”

The President's remarks echoed the philosophy of the non-partisan SixSeeds, which believes engaging the entire family in giving back to the community is the best way to instill the virtues of generosity and service to future generations. Started in 2006, SixSeeds catalyzes family service and giving by providing inspiration, ideas, best practices and assistance.

Families seeking ways to serve and give can find inspiration at www.sixseeds.org the source for the best wisdom and intelligence in family-based service. The site features hundreds of ideas to try today, this month and this year, such as holding a neighborhood car wash or challenging each family member to spend $5 to benefit someone else.

SixSeeds.org includes a search tool for finding nearby family-based service opportunities and curriculum and literature for teaching children about giving and service. SixSeeds can also provide families with project webpage hosting, on-line tax-deductible donation capabilities, and staff technical assistance.

“In today's word, with all the time commitments working against family activities, carving out space for a family service project can bring as much joy to the family as it does to the recipients,” said Curtis Chang, Executive Director of SixSeeds, based in San Jose. “By families serving together, parents can teach their children the virtues of generosity and service. In 2009, every family should strive to complete a project, and we can offer them ideas on how to make it happen.”

SixSeed families have completed dozens of family-based projects in seven U.S. states and 11 nations in the past two years. The following two examples show how the efforts of a single familSixSeed families have completed dozens of family-based projects in seven U.S. states and 11 nations in the past two years. The following two examples show how the efforts of a single family can inspire and grow to exceed initial expectations.

Operation Send-a-Box

For the French family, “Operation Send-a-Box” started with care packages to dad, Capt. David French, who was serving in Iraq with the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment. When Capt. French sent word that many enlisted men in his unit did not have families to send them packages, his wife, Nancy, jumped into action.s, snacks, bedding and other items. In a matter of months, Operation Send-a-Box shipped 2,500 packages to soldiers with an estimated value of a quarter million dollars.

The Kenyan Orphanage

The Kennedys of Pennington, N.J., were inspired to raise money for an AIDS orphanage in Kenya by two brothers at their church who had mobilized a care package drive. The Kennedys' young children were so enthused, they volunteered part of their weekly allowance to donate to the orphanage. The children wrote letters and tucked them into the care packages for the orphans. The efforts of these families blossomed into the formation of the U.S.-based Bright Future Foundation to raise funds for the orphanage and organize service trips by American families to Kenya.

To view previous editions of "Networking Central", please click here.

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