Since its establishment by entertainer and humanitarian Michael Jackson in 1992, the Heal the World Foundation has built a solid record of success in its service to families by addressing critical issues and providing solutions. Maximizing its effectiveness, Heal the World works with established local, national, and international organizations, sharing expertise and infrastructure and mobilizing resources.
Through this collaborative approach, Heal the World has delivered much needed aid to families across the globe, from providing food and toys to the children of lands devastated by war, to setting up immunization and drug prevention programs and providing needed food and shelter for families here in the United States.
In the next century, Heal the World will continue to develop its own special programs and multiple campaigns to improve life around the world. Now, in the furtherance of these efforts, Heal the World introduces its newest initiative, Time with Kids which will address the critical issue of parental neglect. The purpose of Time with Kids is to encourage adults to reprioritize children, trusting that, by bringing our children from the periphery of our attention to the center of our daily consciousness, we can imbue them with the love and devotion which they so badly need and break the cycle of neglect.
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Time with Kids is a project of the Heal the World Foundation and the L'Chaim Society. If you agree with the goals of Time With Kids, we encourage you to donate time, ideas or financial support, by contacting us at Oxford L'Chaim - Time With Kids. For further information on what you can do to help, e-mail us
at: email@example.com. Checks can be made out to: Oxford L'Chaim/Time With
Kids, and sent to 6 East 39th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016.In essence, childhood has become a means to an end, just a stage one passes through on one's way to adulthood. This must be reversed. A happy childhood must be an end in and of itself and we must insure that each child is brought up in a loving and supportive environment - this should be one of the main goals toward which society directs its energies and achieving this goal is the primary work of Time with Kids.
What are the program's goals?
To develop a campaign that will help parents and adults around the world make their children their most important priority and stop the cycle of neglect.
To help at-risk children receive more consideration and support from all sectors of society.
To bring together some of the world's leading statesmen, thinkers and artists to help advocate for the most effective interventions and informational resources available so as to raise awareness among the general public of the problems and (potential) solutions.
What are the initiative's preliminary components?
Time with Kids plans to act as an ambassador to raise awareness of initiatives for children. It does not intend to replicate initiatives in progress but will work in concert with organizations that have programs underway while also developing new initiatives that will promote the better welfare of children. Time with Kids will also take a role in coordinating previously disparate efforts for maximum efficacy. With celebrity spotlights, Time with Kids hopes to bring more attention to children's initiatives that may include such programs as:
National Family Volunteer Day (Points of Light Foundation)
Foster Grandparent Program (Save the Children)
Universal Children's Day (the United Nations)
International Children's Book Day (International Board on Books for Young People)
Our fast-paced, global society has certainly made the world a smaller place where no location, no matter how remote, is inaccessible. In the process of our `conquering' the planet at breakneck speed, however, far too often we are neglecting our most precious resources: our children.
Too many of today's kids are growing up virtually without parents; their childhood typified by a lack of parental interest, involvement and love. Children are starving for attention, longing for a mother's love and hungering for a father's encouragement. Lacking fulfillment of these basic emotional needs, they are increasingly lashing out at a world which, to them, seems callous and cynical, all in an ever-more frantic search for attention and love. As we grow more and more distracted and distant from our children, they grow more and more desperate and destructive - and will be more likely to be distracted and neglectful parents to their own children in the future.
Some of the following truisms which contribute to the plight of children in our society and which, in turn, have inspired the development of Time with Kids include:
Family dinnertime is a discarded relic of the past, with the accompanying communication and sharing of interests being replaced by alienation and disregard.
Time-honored traditions, like reading to your children, have fallen by the wayside.
The involved parent has been replaced by television, computers and home video games. These technologies have become the universal child pacifier, baby sitter, day care provider and dinner companion.
Many of the world's ills can be traced back to neglected children growing up in unloving environments. Children who do not experience unconditional love in their tender years are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and develop a cynicism towards life that can manifest itself in crime, materialism and increasing insensitivity to others. Indeed, many of these children of neglect will go on to be neglectful parents themselves.
An inner life of the spirit is rarely being cultivated in today's children leading to a lack of goals beyond material ones. The idea that goodness is itself the highest form of success is sorely missing in today's world.
Major studies show that children who experience no tactility, no tenderness or hugging in their formative years, bear emotional scars that will not heal later in life.
World Children's Day
The celebration of World Children's Day will be dedicated to the joy of spending quality time with children. Events marking this occasion would call for all kids and adults to share in locally planned activities throughout the world that emphasize spending time with children. Suggested initiatives may include: An adopt a child for the day program which will encourage interaction and celebration with a child, particularly those considered "at risk"; A reading program which will have adults read to kids for a minimum of one hour; A family meal program which will encourage families to share a traditional family meal together; A program which will seek to involve grandparents in child care; as well as other initiatives which will be developed in the future.
In the Time with Kids Book Club, Michael Jackson will endorse a new book of the month for parents and children to read together. Children would then be invited to share their impressions of these books on a website created specifically for that purpose. Through this program, they can interact not only with their parents, but they can also share their experiences with other children from around the world.
Annual events will be developed, such as a Time with Kids Book Club Day, which will be held at national theme parks and other venues for parents and children who faithfully participate in the book club. Similar events will be arranged for participants in other Time with Kids programs as well, the emphasis always being to create an environment in which parents and children are encouraged to share and communicate.
Public service announcements
Plans include the development of public service announcements (PSAs) that highlight celebrity parents (and grandparents) who will stress the value they place on spending time with their children. In addition, they may share family traditions and parenting tips, particularly in the area of how they prioritize their children despite hectic and travel-heavy schedules. Ideas for PSAs include showcasing celebrities:
calling their kids every night when they are away from home
reading a story with their child
volunteering with their children
grandparents helping out with the care of their grandkids
Efforts will be made to develop partnerships with key hotel chains and phone companies to provide free phone calls for parents to call their children at home while they are away on business.
Plans will also be developed to encourage publishers to provide books at a discount for families participating in the Time with Kids Book Club.
Time with Kids will also endeavor to establish a partnership with an internet service provider (ISP), or multiple ISPs, to provide discounts, contingent on participation in the Time with Kids Book Club and other activities to be found on the Time with Kids website.
To direct children's advocacy efforts to one location, a website will be developed that will provide a "tool kit" with key messages offering suggestions on how to spend quality time with kids. The site will also include a FAQ section, discussion boards, Time with Kids Book Club updates, and a calendar of events among other features. The website will also serve as a locus point for coordinating advocacy programs, providing links to other initiatives in progress.
It is hoped that, through these programs, the Time with Kids initiative will serve to accelerate efforts and to galvanize support for the world's children helping parents to provide them with the vital love and attention that too many of the today's kids so tragically lack.
Time with Kids is a project of the Heal the World Foundation and the L'Chaim Society.
Founder and Chairman: Michael Jackson
President: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Secretary: Frank Tyson
Executive Administrator: Toba Friedman
Program Coordinator: Marilyn Piels
All correspondence should be directed to:
6 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 792-6255 Fax: (212) 792-6257.
Please make checks payable to L'Chaim/Time with Kids.