Disclosure: I participated in this program on behalf of Champions for Kids and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Dear Diary,

Time flies when you’re having fun. I’ve heard that saying over and over again, but it didn’t resonate until my daughter blew out her birthday candles on her cupcake–the pink princess vanilla one that didn’t go with the Doc McStuffins theme but did deliver what she wanted. She ordered her cake from my sister’s baking business, which illustrated that my baby was now a little girl with big opinions.


Also a sign of her growing up and turning three–her desire to give back to other kids who are less fortunate. Recently, she announced that she was donating some of her toys to boys and girls who didn’t have anything to play with. We packed up a box and dropped it off at the Good Will store near our house.

So, it was quite fitting to incorporate a giving aspect into her birthday party. Besides, Doc McStuffins always helped those in need. So should Doc McCaitlynn! We teamed up with Champions for Kids and organized a Game Day Great SIMPLE Service Project. Helping others does not have to come in large doses. Champions for Kids seeks to ignite generational change by fostering a ‘habit of giving’ among youth and parents in America.

Doc McStuffins

Throughout the month of August, Champions for Kids is partnering with Dole to encourage community projects across the country benefiting children in need. Called SIMPLE Service Projects, the idea is to host or organize an event to collect snack foods that you would then donate to a local organization that serves children in need, such as a food pantry, after-school program or daycare center.


To prepare for the party, Caitlynn and I went shopping. We loaded up on Dole snack foods. Dole offers a number of terrific, portable and nutritious snacks perfect for game day, including Dole Fruit Bowls and Dole Fruit Squish’ems. Caitlynn also picked out some goodies to match the theme I kept reminding her about.


When game day arrived, the kids worked up an appetite running, throwing and jumping at the indoor playground. They even helped each other through the ball pit and obstacle course.

Ball Pitt

Little did they know, the food that fueled them would also feed impoverish children served by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. I dropped a donation off at the food bank, and while there, pitched an idea to organize a diaper drive. Diapers, yet another think on the list that kids living in poverty go without.

Food Bank

I hope our SIMPLE Service projects help Champions for Kids reach the goal–All children should have: Someone who cares; a Place to belong; Hope for tomorrow and provisions for their journey. All children.

Hey DFTM Fam–How are you giving back this summer? How do your encourage your children to be generous and compassionate?




About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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