Learning the gift of service to others is what Missouri’s first lady is trying to instill in kids around the state. First Lady Teresa Parson’s CommUNITY Service Challenge for children in kindergarten through sixth grade is underway through August 4.

It’s been well-received for the past two years, so she decided to launch it again this summer. The first lady hopes kids will devote a small part of their summer to be a good neighbor.

“That’s all we want- is them to learn that giving is something that they can do very easily and it does make a very big difference in someone else’s life a lot of times,” she said.

More than 150 kids representing 31 Missouri counties have already signed up for the challenge.

Her website lists a variety of categories, including:

•Caring for the hungry
•Showing kindness to the elderly, healthcare workers, first responders and veterans
•Supporting foster kids and the homeless

“A lot of those things – it’s not very expensive to do an act of kindness,” said Parson. “And so, that’s kind of the whole idea behind the suggestions that we made and we opened it up so they could create their own and do what they would like, as long as it was community oriented.”

Parson encourages kids to be creative on these projects.

“The kids enjoy it,” she said. “I think families, grandparents, get involved, aunts, uncles, neighbors even sometimes.”

To find out more information or to sign up, go to firstlady.mo.gov/kids.

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