This was the biggest year of our annual family food and toy drive! Whether the dads can attend depends on their work schedule. This year, we were joined by the Kindness Elves, Pete the Cat, and the entire families of both my now-adult kids.
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The Kindness Elves and Pete the Cat Are a Fun Way to Encourage Participation in a Food and Toy Drive
We started participating in food and toy drives with Zoey when she was 2 years old. The Kindness Elves met Pete the Cat and had a note that said “Let’s go to the food and toy drive with Pete the Cat and give it our all!”
“Give it our all” refers to a special message from Pete the Cat Saves Christmas. I love the message and song that runs through the book. While the book isn’t that understandable for babies and young toddlers, the song from it is still perfect (and toddlers do love the book):
“Give it your all, give it your all.
At Christmas we give,
so give it your all.”
You can listen to and learn the tune for the song at Harper Collins sing-along version of the book.
We continued to use Kindness Elves and Pete the Cat in our food and toy drive in 2016.
Our Pete the Cat Saves Christmas Doll joined us again in 2017 with the Kindness Elves (now a family with a baby). In addition to focusing on Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, we read books about hunger and poverty to give Zoey a deeper understanding about why we do the food and toy drive each year. (Update: The Pete the Cat Saves Christmas Doll is no longer available, but you could probably use a Pete the Cat plush doll with a cat or dog Santa hat if you want a Christmas version of Pete the Cat.)
In 2018, we were joined by a new baby and toddler in our family!
Our 2019 5th Annual Family Food and Toy Drive Is Joined by the Kindness Elves and Pete the Cat
In addition to the Kindness Elves and Pete the Cat, our biggest ever family food and toy drive consisted of my son, Will, my daughter-in-law, Chea, Zoey (6 years old), Sophia (2 years old), my daughter, Christina, my son-in-law, Tom, Caleb (21 months old), and me.
First, Zoey picked out two toys to go with a book for a child around her age, and Sophia and Caleb each helped pick out a toy and book for a toddler. The parents chose food for a Christmas dinner for a family in need.
Zoey picked out bags for the children’s gifts and filled the bags with the toys and books.
Here’s Caleb inspecting the toddler gift bag while he and his dad waited at the checkout!
Zoey did the heavy lifting!
Here are Will and Sophia with Pete the Cat! It looks like the Pete the Cat Saves Christmas Doll has gotten a bit expensive! You could put a Christmas hat on the regular Pete the Cat Plush Doll if you want a Christmas Pete.
While Sophia took care of Pete the Cat, Caleb took care of the Kindness Elves. He also checked that everything was ready in the toddler bag.
Then Caleb did some heavy lifting, too!
I’m on the left, and then you’ll see Chea, Sophia, Zoey, Christina, and Caleb ready to donate the food and toys!
It’ll be fun to see what each future year of our family food and toy drive brings!
The Ultimate Guide to Kindness Elves
I’ve collected Kindness Elf activities and ideas since they first came out in 2013. You can find all of my Kindness Elf posts in my Ultimate Guide to Kindness Elves.
I’d love to hear if you’re participating in a food and/or toy drive!
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