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If you have a question for Ms. Magnolia, please mail it to P.O. Box 669, Vidalia, GA 30475, or e-mail to [email protected]

Ms. Magnolia

Dear Ms. Magnolia, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It is a perfect time for children to learn the real meaning of giving. There are many opportunities for children to perform good deeds and help in different ways during the Christmas period. Here are some ideas for children to help pets and senior citizens at Christmas and throughout the year.

If a child loves animals, animal shelters use volunteers to walk dogs and play with cats. These pets need lots of human interaction to make them more sociable and adoptable. Animal shelters always need help washing food and water dishes and cleaning up cages to make the shelter comfortable for the animals. Children can help donate pet food and supplies that are very much needed.

Children can help shelters locate foster homes for the pets of deployed military service members who have to surrender their pets to a shelter when they have no one else to take care of them. Children can become involved in a local pet therapy program that takes pets to visit local nursing homes and child care centers.

There are also ways to help the many senior citizens that do not have families or can’t be with them for the holidays. Children can help to clean up or decorate an elderly neighbor’s house. With adult help children bake cookies or cook or make sandwiches for an elderly neighbor or relative.

They can go for a walk with a senior citizen and tell them funny stories about friends and school. Elderly people often have wisdom of their own to share. Older children can record the stories and opinions of their senior friends with a digital camcorder and give them as a gift.

Letters have been edited for length and clarity.

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