Be a Hero this Halloween

(Family Features) Being a hero goes beyond dressing up in a costume this Halloween season. Children, families and schools across the country can channel their own superpowers to help deliver lifesaving supplies to children in need this October.

Halloween customes

One way to use your superpowers is to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, which began in 1950 when girls and boys across the United States collected coins in hand-painted milk cartons to help children affected by World War II. Celebrating its 69th year, this nostalgic tradition continues today as America’s longest running youth volunteer program with generations of children running door to door holding signature orange boxes and singing, “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.”

With over $180 million raised for health care, education, nutrition and more, the program has evolved into a month-long celebration of the power of kids helping kids. Throughout October, kids, parents and teachers across the country can be real superheroes by collecting donations, big and small.

Equipped with the iconic orange boxes, families can raise funds that add up to lifesaving change. As little as $1 can provide safe water to a child for more than 2 months; $3 can provide seven packets of therapeutic food; $5 can provide a pack of 10 notebooks and $7 can provide one warm fleece blanket for a child.

Halloween has become a “heroic” way to help others and build the next generation of global citizens. When kids trick-or-treat for a cause, they learn about global issues and feel empowered to make a difference.

Start creating real-world change by picking up your own little orange box. With the support of Visa Inc., the iconic box will glow in the dark, allowing superpowers to shine even brighter.

Visit to download a DIY change box, donate online or find an event near you. Share your story on social media with #TOT4UNICEF, #WeCanAllBeHeroes and #KidsHelpingKids.

Source: UNICEF

Start the School Year Off Right

(Family Features) As kids head back to school, it is essential to give them all the resources to make it. Being a parent, you can take steps to put your childrens on the path toward a very good school year.

To help your young ones put the best foot forwards, consider these tips from The Salvation Army, which operates many low-cost after-school programs for kids in a wide age range in low-income neighborhoods nationwide and understands value of setting children up for success all year long.

Get back right into a routine. In the summer season, family routines often slide, especially morning rituals and bedtime habits. Two or three weeks before school starts, begin transitioning your way back to the ordinary school schedule. A gentle progression to earlier bed and wake-up times is less complicated on kids physically and mentally. Try modifying by 15 minutes or so each day until you get to the optimal schedule for the family. Keep in mind that routines aren’t just about the clock, although. Should there be certain steps which are part of the school year routine, for example packing lunches and laying out clothes for the following day before bed, make those part of your transition plan, too.

Set a good example. Childrens learn important behavioral lessons by watching the adults of their lives. The back-to-school season provides a lot of opportunities to express compassion and social responsibility. For example, giving back to an organization like The Salvation Army helps provide funding for programs that support the educational needs of children who otherwise may possibly not have accessibility to the same resources.

Research resources for homework help. Discovering your son or daughter is struggling in school can be frustrating. You’ll want to be capable of pull in help as soon as possible, so it will be a great idea to research resources in your town that can help provide support outside the schoolroom. Your school probably has some available options, but it is a wise decision to also consider tutoring programs and other community services that stimulate literacy and study skills as well as provide one-on-one assist with homework and school assignments.

Get organized. The first few weeks of school typically bring a lot of change and adjustment. You can help manage the stress by creating some structure. Utilize a wall calendar to keep an eye on school start and dismissal times, bus pick-up and drop-off times, after school activities and also other appointments. Review lunch menus and plan in advance so you’re not learning at bed time that you need to pack a home lunch in the morning. Stock up on breakfast foods and make time to catch up on laundry before school begins so hunger and wayward socks do not ruin your mornings.

Look into extra-curricular programs. With the new school year comes many ways to strengthen your kids’ social and intellectual development. Extra-curricular activities let kids continue practicing skills even after the school bell rings, but in a fun environment so they may not even realize they’re even learning and cultivating healthy, safe relationships with friends. In addition to sports and clubs, a wide array of music and art education activities can be accessible that concentrate on everything from choir, band and dancing to drawing, writing and acting.

Set goals. Begin the school year by motivating your kids to take ownership and pride in their learning. Talk about goals like reading a particular number of books monthly or earning grades that reflect their highest potential. Get kids encouraged by designing goal boards or charts that can act as daily prompts and track their progress. For bigger goals, check out setting achievements so they can celebrate progress along the way and stay inspired for a big finish.

Learn more about educational and giving opportunities in your community at

Source: The Salvation Army