The Minnesota Children’s Museum together with the non-profit Doing Good Together, have organized Small Hands, Big Hearts: Spark the Spirit of Giving.The two week event, which runs from January 15th until the 30th, is in its second year. “Last year it was such a big success with museum goers, that it has been made an annual event,” said Program Facilitator Brain Poulton. Poulton has been with the museum for 11-years and couldn’t dream of a better career. Poutlon said that the idea for “Small Hands, Big Hearts” came to museum staff when Pres. Obama stated, during a speech in 2010, that “Dr. Martin Luther King’s birth should be celebrated for an entire week and should focus on giving back to the community.”
The event has also been co-sponsored by: Meals on Wheels, Simpson Housing Services, Bridging Inc., Children’s Hearthlink, Second Harvest Heartland, and the Animal Human Society.
The opening ceremony, was co-hosted by St. Paul Mayor Chistopher B. Coleman and Clifford the Big Red Dog, with a book reading. Working together as a unit, is the main message that the museum is trying to get across. The community service activities that have been organized, are for children of all ages.
The children are directed towards 4-different stations, which are located on the main and second floor(s). The children create cheerful cards for other children receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, they decorate lunch bags for the Meals on Wheels program, they make toys for pets residing at the Animal Humane Society shelter, they donate loose change to Second Harvest Heartland (and the Animal Humane Society or Children’s Hearltink), and they bring socks & mittens to donate to Simpson Housing Services.
The museum has indeed made it easy for children of all ages to participate in community service. Museum Public Relations Manager Kylee Breems said “Giving back is an important part of being a citizen.” Breems said that they have also incorporated music so that the children can be exposed to creative expression. On Friday night, the kids were able to enjoy dance and singing to live music from the Bunny Clogs.
The museum also has a needs based program called Access Passport Membership, which allows families (who are eligible) to obtain a one year free membership.
All in all, the Minnesota Children’s Museum is a place where a kid can be a kid with a strong possibility of transforming them into a world changer.