Mission: Salt + Light


Little Lights

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Welcome to Little Lights! Our hope with this group is that we will be able to provide ideas, inspiration and opportunities to people who are interested in getting their children involved with philanthropic deeds or volunteering at an early age.  So many of us have the desire to instill in our children that they are not too young to be making a difference and that it is a privilege and joy to help others. This can be a challenge at times with younger children as many activities and volunteer opportunities are not geared for their abilities or understanding. We all want the children in our lives to appreciate what they have, how blessed they are and that they are not too young to start spreading love themselves.  We aim to have several opportunities each year where our kids can shine their lights to our community with their time, energy, creativity and enthusiasm.  Come back to this page to keep up to date on new opportunities to get involved with your kids!


November 2016 Effort

I am excited for our next Little Lights event where we'll get to make Kindness Kits to give to the homeless at Saint Andre Bessette and Portland Rescue Mission.
Children volunteers will get to pack a variety of items into 1 gallon bags.  They will color a sign for the front, cut out quotes, repackage bulk items into snack size, make sandwiches, compile activity items and pick special items for each one.  We look forward to making special and creative packages that will bring help, love and laughter to some of the 1800 homeless people Portland has sleeping on it's streets each night.  

portland rescue mission

All items essential for this activity will be provided.  If your family has extras of any of these types of items, please feel free to bring them to add to the kits:
- New: deodorant, small kleenex, lip balm, toothpaste, small soap/shampoos, individually packaged snacks/bars, Halloween candy, gloves (used is fine too), playing cards...
st. andres

Each of the Kits packaged will be unique, all will have some of the main items, but others items will be on an "as we have them" basis.  If there are small items you think someone in need would appreciate, please feel free to be creative with it.  Also, if your family would like to take one of the packs to give out themselves, that is great too!

Used items both Saint Andre Bessette and Portland Rescue Mission  asked us to collect for their general use:
ANY adult winter gear
-underwear (yes, used is fine, they are in desperate need)
-socks (again, used is fine)
-Towels (bath towels, hand towels, washcloths)
-travel size hygiene items or make up samples
-magazines that you're done reading and could be enjoyed again!

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August 2016 Effort


Little Lights event moved off-site! 17 kiddos and 5 fantastic adults got to volunteer to sort food at the Oregon Food Bank on the morning of August 18th in the Food Repack area.  The kids were so responsible and worked so hard.  Our group sorted almost 6,000 pounds of food to provide 4,906 meals to families in the local area.  http://www.oregonfoodbank.org  Great job kids!  

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April 2016 Effort

It's time for another Little Lights event!  Please join us as we join the Beaverton HELP center in raising awareness for the homeless youth problem in Beaverton.  They have started a campaign called "Shelter Us" and are needing umbrellas painted as part of the awareness campaign.  The perfect job for us!!  We'll provide the umbrellas and acrylic paint, you provide the creative children.  There is no specifics for decorating but I'm guessing the l
ittler kids could use a little help and guidance from mom or dad :)  (see attached pic for some umbrellas other children painted.)

We also were contacted by Boys & Girls Aid for help with their annual appreciation dinner for foster families.  This will be the third year we'll provide table decorations, gifts and a meal for the families with foster children, everything in past years has been a big hit!  We've got a few ideas up our sleeve for something new again this year.  

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September 2015 Effort

As school has started our Beaverton Family Resource Center and their homeless Liaison, Lisa Mentesana, have been slammed with over 200 referrals for homeless students in Beaverton, along with several homeless families.  We asked her what we can do as a Little Lights group to help.  At the end of the summer they moved into a new location and had many people put in a lot of sweat, tears and talent to get the new spot ready.  Our kids created AND wrote thank you letters need to be mailed out to about 50 people! The cards were so unique and sweet, I was so impressed.  We also created a beautiful tree of hearts framed artwork as a
"housewarming" for the new center.  As a final item, all of the helper kids made healthy trail mix baggies to be given as a snack to the people that visit the center.

Thank you to the 20 kids and their parents who helped with the project and also collected/donated about 30 bags worth of essentials that the HELP center often hands out.

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May 2015 Effort

Thank you to all who came and participated on a gorgeous May day!! The Foster Parents at Boy's and Girls Aid were very appreciative of the amazing efforts of 25 kids and their parents!
They were thrilled with the Family Game night baskets we put together (thanks to your donations), Mason Jar Table topics, card/dice game packs, fabric wrapped planters filled with beautiful flowers and a creative Family Time picture frame. Not only did the items serve as decorations for the Thank you dinner, but also as nice take home gifts. We are blessed to have so many fabulous friends in our lives that will give their time, resources and hearts to help others!


March 2015 Effort

50 kids and their parents came to make our "Smile Envelopes" event our most epic (and insane) Little Lights event so far. Smile
Envelopes were filled with 30 special items to induce smiles and happiness. Many went to the nearby Veterans & Family Center in Beaverton, while others were shipped around the world to our deployed troops in Afghanistan! They arrived last week and the officer that we sent them to put them in the common areas. Here is what he's written to all of the awesome kids:
Books arrived two days ago, and envelopes the day before. I've been spreading them around. Everything is a hit. The photos and the challenge on the envelopes is an awesome touch, and gets even the hardest hearts to pull something out. You guys did awesome.

Thank you for helping brighten the day of our soldiers and veterans who have served our country. When we delivered them to the Veterans and Family home the 50 adults and 45 kids that live there were excited for the mystery envelopes. The great families that participated also donated about 30 books that the soldiers had requested and some needed clothing and toiletries for the Veterans Home. Your generous and fun-loving spirits amaze us, thank you for all of the participation!


May 2014 Effort

Boys & Girls Aid reached out to our sweet group of Little Lights and asked if we could create an appreciation gift and some table centerpieces. We said yes, of course! Since we didn’t need a huge amount of items, a dozen kids joined us and painted/designed planter sticks, planted flowers, packed a meal box and made layered Friendship Soup in mason jars for each of the 20 families with foster children that would attend the


February 2014 Effort

Hi Everyone,
It is time for another Little Lights event, I am super excited about this one!  All activities the kids will be participating in are to benefit foster children in the local area. The first group we are excited to partner with is Boys and Girls Aid and two live-in homes for teenage foster girls that they run.  Each home has 10 gals and we will be making infinity scarfs for each of them.  Don't worry, we will not be unleashing your children to the sewing machines, but they will get to pick fabric, help fold it correctly, and make a "with love" tag for the recipient while adult friends will get the sewing process started.  We've also got inspiring quotes printed on nice paper that the kids will turn into beautiful posters for the girls to display in their rooms and hopefully get encouragement from.  If any of the kids want to make a rainbow loom bracelet as well, that is great.

The other group we'll partner with is Foster Parent Night Out (FPNO) from A Jesus Church here in Beaverton (where Ryan and I attend church).  Each month foster kids get to come and have a super fun night while their foster parents have some time to run errands or have a date. We will be having our kids make "Friendship soup" mix in mason jars and then package them into totes with a complete meal.  I'll have all of the ingredients for th
e soup with correct measuring devices and the mason jars.  

We look forward to you bringing your children over to spread some love to our community and some kids that really need it.  We need to make at least 20 of each of these items and will provide all of the supplies to do so.  There is no need to bring anything, but if you are able to bring any of the following items, we'll make additional meal packages for more foster families: Quart mason jars and lids, cans of veggies or fruit, small boxes of bread or biscuit mix, small packages of cookies/treats, dollar store totes.

As always, if you have any questions or other suggestions of things we can do, please let me know! 

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November 2013 Effort

Hi friends,
On Sunday, November 24th we are hosting another Little Lights event for your kids to have the opportunity to help others in the community, this time to benefit and bring joy to children in the local Children's Hospitals.  We're teaming up with a college friend of mine, Lindsay Walker, who has been collecting 100's of new stuffed animals for months with the Michael Grimm Foundation (http://www.michaelgrimmfoundation.org).  Each of the new stuffed animals needs to be tagged with stickers saying "With Love from Michael", perfect work for kids!  Along with "stickering the stuffies" kids will also be crafting friendship bracelets, get well cards and activity books.  Everything will be delivered in December to Randall Children's Hospital.

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October 2013 Effort

We are thankful that the weather cooperated with us as we gathered for our October event at a friend's home in Beaverton to harvest persimmons from their massive tree.  The kids worked together to pick over 130 pounds of fruit, all of it donated to the Oregon Food Bank.  It was a fun time had by all and a great opportunity for the kids to learn about others in need of healthy foods to feed their family.

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March 2013 Effort


We are super excited to write about our next Little Lights adventure!  This time we are teaming up with a great group called Fences for Fido (FFF) that one of our supporters volunteers with.  We feel it fits right in line with our goal of creating fun, interesting and meaningful events for children to do good things in their community and learn the value of helping others.  FFF is a non-profit group dedicated to helping dogs get unchained and sheltered.  Find out more at www.fencesforfido.org

For this event, each child will get to paint a portion of a dog house that will provide shelter to a dog where Fences for Fido builds a fence.  Our good friend, Lori, will be on hand to provide information on FFF and pictures of some of the projects they've done so that kids can see what will happen with this house.  This part of the activity will either be in the garage or in a covered area outside and does of course include paint so please have kids dress in clothing that wouldn't be ruined if they got paint on them.  We're certainly hoping for a nice day, but either way, we'll all be covered. Inside we will be doing 3 other activities.  One is coloring a Thank You letter to FFF's 30 main volunteers and donors that FFF will send out, another is having the kids make dog toys and the third is creating a unique piece of art that will be auctioned off at a FFF fundraiser!  These events will be appropriate for children of all age and skill levels!  You're welcome to come for 30 minutes or the whole time, whatever works for your schedule during any of the hours of the activity!

Mission:Salt+Light will be covering the $75 sponsorship of the dog house and along with FFF and Lori, all other materials will be  provided.  As always, we would never have an event without snacks!  The only thing we'd ask for beside your attendance with your children would be to pick up some dog treats or some sturdy dog toys for outdoor use to donate to Fences for Fido.  This is absolutely not a requirement, just if you are able to bring some.

We can't wait to see what the kids create and the good they'll do.  The dogs will be so happy!

Please contact us with any questions or suggestions of things you'd like us to do in the future!

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November 2012 Effort

Mission: Salt+Light's Little Lights were busy this Holiday!  In Late November we had an event for the children to work on spreading some Holiday cheer.  

They colored 35 placemats for the Thanksgiving meal being served at City Team Ministries.  They looked beautiful!  In addition to that, children were asked to collect $1.89 to cover the cost of one of these Thanksgiving meals and also collect much needed bath towels for City Team.  They ended up gathering over $180 and 80 towels when all was said and done, well done kids!!  

That same night, the kids made decorations to brighten the doors of a local retirement community, Canfield Place.  We needed 90 decorations, and the kids poured their heart (and some glue) into it, making fabulous creations to make the doors of this retirement center look festive and bright.  All 90 were made, no small feat!!  In keeping with the effort of "doing good and helping others”, we even got to snack on cookies made for a fundraiser benefitting "Fences for Fido", a group aimed at creating safer and improved conditions for abused dogs.  We hope to do an event with them in the coming year for our animal-loving children. Then the first week of December, we gathered to put up the decorations at Canfield Place and we were stopped repeatedly by the residents to tell us how beautiful they were and how much they appreciated them.  Many reminisced about their grandchildren or days as teachers, etc and loved on the children. It meant a lot to all of us to get to see first-hand that joy that these homemade decorations brought.  


April 2012 Effort

Hi Everyone, we know we have been a little behind on this but we are ready to get this going again. We hope everyone is enjoying the small tastes of Spring that we're occasionally getting!  The sun is good for the soul! Do you know what else is good for the soul? Revitalizing a tradition of doing something fun and thoughtful for your neighbors/friends! 
May Day is coming up, and in my family growing up, that just meant that April w

as over.  But I am learning more about the history and activities of May Day and I am excited to implement it into our family traditions, I hope you'll join us!  We'll be making lots of May Day baskets and paper flowers 03D for your kids to hopefully take around and put on door knobs of your neighbors or anyone you know needing a little cheer on the following Tuesday, May 1st.  Some traditions I read say that it should be anonymous, so this is a great opportunity for your kids to practice being sneaky for a good cause 328  We'll have all the supplies to make the baskets (cones) and flowers and of course you can put live flowers or candy treats in some of your baskets as well.  What a great way to bring cheer to the community out your front door!  We'll also have lots of finger foods, drinks and some pizza.  Please let me know if you can join us, drop in anytime that night between 4:30 and 7.  Big kids and little kids are welcome, this is a craft and tradition for all to enjoy!
I look forward to hearing from you, you can let us know if you plan on coming by leaving us a post on our Facebook Page

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February 2012 Effort

One month is already down and we’re on to our third event for Little Lights, yeah!  February 12-18 is Random Acts of Kindness week.  Really it should be more than a week, like forever, but for the purpose of Little Lights, we’ll compromise and do Random (and not-so-random) Acts of Kindness month!  This month we won’t have an actual event but hopefully MANY small events.   Please check out the list attached.  Maybe print it and go over it with your kids and see what other ideas you can come up with.   I’ve set a goal of at least 20 things with our boys, not counting the ones that I’m including pictures of that they’ve just done.  Please email me or text me a picture and/or description of things you and your kids have done.  Be as creative or quick as you want with how you report back on a Kindness Act.  We’ll put them up on our site and FB.  I’d love lots of pictures!!  As most of you know, I like prizes!  Since we won’t be gathering at a specific event, with every Act of Kindness that each family sends in to me, I will put your name in a drawing to win a free pair of Tom’s shoes for one of the kids.  I love what Tom’s stands for with the buying one and donating one (and the kid shoes are particularly cute).  So someone gets a prize and a child somewhere else in the world will win too!

                           Reading                           PickingUp   
(Baking for Volunteers, Reading to Siblings, Picking up after others)

I want to give a little credit to two souces I got good ideas and inspiration for on this month of Kindness.  For all of you bloggers, check out Katherine Kuck’s post
http://katherinemariephotography.com/blog/archives/7783  where she starts the challenge for her family to do one Random Act of Kindness each month.  What a great goal!  The other source has been from a college friend, Lindsay Walker, who has started a project with her 3rd grade class at Edy Ridge Elementary in Sherwood that I would like us to team up with.  They started something called “Kindness Kards” (www.kindnesskards.org) with the hopes to encourage kids (big and small) to be inspired to do nice things for others…loved ones and strangers.  They’ve been leaving them all over town for people to find and then do and mail in to their school to tell them about it.  The class is very excited about it and I’d like to help further motivate them by showing them some of the things we’ve done.  I’ve attached a copy of the back of the kindness card postcard.  If you print these out there would be four postcards that your kids could color the reverse side of and write what they did. This isn’t the typical way for their cards to get passed out, but I can’t exactly place one of the cards in a place where all of you guys will find one so “finding” electronically is the way to go.  Please mail one or two back to this classroom, the kids would go wild with seeing what other kids are doing out in the community.  Let me know if you have questions.

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(Dropping of Surprise Gifts, Birthday Sign for Grandma)

I hope everyone participates and  has a lot of fun with this cause this month, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time but can make a difference for our community and for your kids.  Finding ways to do kind things with our children and really celebrate what they do is such a great way to start a lifetime habit for them and improve it for ourselves.     I know you are all much more creative than I am, I can’t wait to see what things you come up with or encounter!  Thank you for all of your support, it is truly appreciated!

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(Baking for new Neighbors, Painting a Mural at the Boy's & Girl's Club, Donating Cans)

Thanks for being kind and make sure to share your efforts on our Facebook Page!!

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.     -Leo F. Buscaglia

Kindness is never wasted. If it has no effect on the recipient, at least it benefits the bestower.  -S. H. Simmons

Ideas for Kindness!!!

  • leave change in the vending machine
  • walk someone’s dog or feed a pet
  • let someone go in front of you in line
  • return shopping carts that are not yours
  • make fleece tie blankets or scarfs for the homeless
  • make valentines and give to elderly home, police station, or give to someone who won’t expect it
  • make or bake a surprise for someone
  • take a meal to someone who is sick
  • write inspirational or kind quotes and leave them around town or mail out
  • open the door for someone or play doorman for 10 minutes somewhere
  • give directions to someone lost
  • leave a generous tip with a colored thank you note
  • help someone out by watching their kids for an hour (and your child helping)
  • share your umbrella with someone or hand out ones from $1 store when raining
  • take someone to the movies
  • write a positive note to a classmate or school worker
  • start a piggybank for a cause
  • make a positive comment on a website or blog
  • help someone move or clean
  • pick weeds in your neighborhood common areas or help someone with yard work (amazing those weeds can thrive in this weather)
  • carpool or give ride to someone (maybe not a total stranger on this one)
  • flowers, flowers…so many nice things you can do with flowers!
  • encourage someone struggling
  • be kind to someone you dislike
  • kids clip coupons and leave next to the products or in the store they are good for (all kids love scissors!)
  • write a letter of thanks to your garbage man, house cleaners, mail carrier, etc.
  • share school supplies with someone or bring extra supplies into your school or school in need
  • older kids help someone younger or sibling with reading, tying a shoe, etc.
  • pick up someone’s tab behind you
  • pack ziplock care packages for shelter or homeless with toothbrush/paste, socks, deodorant, travel soap, etc)
  • push garbage or recycling cans back up to neighbor’s house
  • bring a treat for custodians or bus drivers
  • leave a welcome goody for a new neighbor
  • clear out the left behind clothes from a messy dressing room
  • homemade birthday cards, decorations or gifts
  • clean out toys for donation
  • pick up clothes that have fallen off a hanger in store or put things back where they belong
  • sent kindness cards into Edy Ridge school
  • go out of your way to shop at a small, locally owned shop
  • get your class involved in RAK month!

January 2012 Effort

Some of you may have seen that this month Mission: Salt+Lightis working with a group called Youth ReVision to collect and distribute shoes, hats, socks, and gloves to homeless or low-income teenagers in the area.  Fortunately, Nike has donated 1900 shoes already to the effort so now we're trying to get a few other warm items to include. Mission: Salt + Light is also just starting to get our "Sharing Bags" out this month, we'll be using this in hopes it will help remind people to be filling them with items needed.  So we thought we'd do a little combo effort having our kiddos work on the same things that us "big kids" are working on. Here is the idea:  Collect hats, socks or gloves for teens in need and/or gather non-perishable food items for the Beaverton Family Resource Center that maybe your child would like to personally eat if he/she were hungry or something they could buy themselves with a few coins from their piggy bank.  Then

join us at the BFRC (16550 SW Merlo Rd. 97006) anytime between 6 and 7pm on Wednesday the 25th of January so you cannot only drop off items you've collected for BFRC and Youth ReVision but also so you and your kids can see this great place that is helping so many families in need. Treats for kids (big and small!) will be provided. (They are open from 8am to 8pm on Wednesdays.) Show up anytime during this period or if you can't make it, let me know and we'll make arrangements to get collection ahead of time.  Hopefully your kids can feel really great when they see all of the items we collected for both groups.  And as always, it is so fun to see everyone. Thanks everyone for your fabulous support and ideas of things we could do to make our kiddos positive little humans :)

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December 2011 Effort


What an amazing first event, well over 20 children showed up to contribute to the effort. The evening was filled with writing letters to Santa to be put in the mail box at Macy’s where money is then donated for every letter to Make-A-Wish foundation! The children also made a whole set of book marks which will be added to our book bags filled with books for low income children. Was an amazing night to see these great kids so excited and ready to help others. We can’t wait for the next event!!!


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