I'm lucky to be involved with a local group of Kansas City bloggers who are bright, dynamic and active in the community. Some I've met in person; others only through a computer screen on a social networking platform, but they're all unique and interesting in their own way. It's really very cool to be involved with such a diverse group of people who have come into each other's lives through our shared passion for blogging.

Today I am linking up with many of them in an effort to highlight the many ways we can all make a difference in Kansas City through volunteering this holiday season. Please check out the list of other entries at the end of this post and give them all a visit.  Thanks to Jacqui from KC Edventures for spearheading this effort and getting us all organized! We're also supporting#GivingTuesday; in a world that glorifies Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it seems a small way to use the social media platforms we all live by to celebrate and encourage charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations. 

   

I chose to highlight The Children's Place and the Yelp Shop Local events that will benefit the charity.  It's tough to think about, but child abuse injuries and deaths have risen in recent years. I can't pretend to know what it's like to deal with abuse; the physical bruises and injuries notwithstanding, the emotional and psychological trauma of not being safe, able to trust or knowing that home is a safe place breaks my heart. What's even more sobering is the thought that many children suffer in silence, never knowing that someone can help.

The Children's Place is staffed with therapists, teachers and volunteers who dedicate their lives to helping children who have been abused, neglected and traumatized. The deal in not only necessities, but in hope. And the organization provides services for parents to teach them how to be better parents, thereby strengthening families and–hopefully–ending what is all too often a cycle of abuse that lives from generation to generation.

The Children's Place Kansas City          

Working directly with children who have been abused, neglected or traumatized isn't something that is done lightly or without considerable training. But you and I can help in a painless and even fun ways by participating in Yelp Shops Local  events this holiday season. The Yelp Shops Local activities, such as local shopping crawls and gift wrap get-togethers, encourage everyone to choose local shops over big-box national chains, and go one step further by supporting a charity during the holidays. The events and activities of this year's Yelp Shops Local program will benefit The Children's Place, so there are plenty of opportunities to either put on your comfy shoes and stroll around Kansas City and its interesting neighborhoods or open your wallet to contribute (or both).

Part of what I love about this idea is being able to shop an area of the Kansas City metro that is unique to me, like Parkville, Lee's Summit and Brookside. I'll be taking my kids and talking, as we stroll, not only about what it means to keep money in the community but what it means to help others who cannot yet help themselves.

To learn about other Kansas City charities and how you can make the season brighter for others, visit these great blogs:

Everyday Truth — Bear Hugs

it's me, debcb! — Safehome

Back to Allen — The Children's Place

Whatcha Makin Now — Wayside Waifs

Soleful Suitcases — KC Rescue Mission

Wayward Dogs — Midwest Adopt-a-Bull

Sarah Scoop — Toys for Tots

Laughing Cat Creations — Turning Point

Blogchickabowow — Jewish Family Services

Healthnut Foodie — Veronica's Voice

Raising the Barrs — Hillcrest Transitional Housing

KC Edventures — Salvation Army & Children's Mercy

The Happy Family Movement — Rose Brooks Women's Center