Feb 14th: International Book Giving Day!

February 14th is Valentine’s Day – but did you know it’s also International Book Giving Day? This 100% volunteer initiative aims to increase children’s access to, and enthusiasm for, reading books. Show and share love by donating books to a neighbor in need, or to a local shelter or non-profit organization that provides books to children in the US and around the world.

Baby Ventures is proud to support this initiative by donating copies of our ABCs of Washington, DC board books. Follow us on Facebook for the latest news on how we’ll be celebrating the day!

Looking for ideas on where to donate your books? Get a list of organizations here. And be sure to connect with others celebrating International Book Giving Day by posting your photos on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #bookgivingday.

This Valentine’s Day, show your love with book giving!

Donate Books for DC Kids in Need

Georgetown University School of Medicine is currently collecting new and used books for its Big HOYA Little Saxa book drive supporting DC General Homeless Shelter. As part of the Big HOYA Little Saxa program, Georgetown medical students volunteer at the shelter, teach reading skills and provide mentorship to the children.

Baby Ventures is proud to support the book drive by donating more than 25 copies of our ABCs of Washington, DC board book. Want to get involved? Simply drop off new or used books at Georgetown University’s Dahlgren Memorial Library or send them to the following address by October 31st:

Big HOYA Little Saxa Book Drive
3900 Reservoir Road NW
Medical-Dental Building NW114
Washington, DC 20057

We hope you will join us in supporting literacy for DC kids!

The ‘ABCs’ of Practicing Compassion

At Baby Ventures, we’re big fans of inspiring little ones to explore the world around them with wonder and compassion. Opportunities for compassion pop up every day, presenting us with teachable moments that enrich both our little ones and ourselves.

As a company of animal lovers, we’ve found that fostering a sense of compassion at an early age can be easy with everyday creature friends: tots can practice gentleness with the family pet, care not to step on backyard bugs, and learn that wild animals need to stay that way (livin’ free in the wild, as our PBS Kids cartoon faves, the Wild Kratts brothers, would say).

While walking my dogs on a park trail recently, I came across my own opportunity to practice compassion: there was a dog on the path ahead, unattended and clearly frightened. A man passed me and I asked him if he could keep an eye on the stray dog, so I could come back with a leash. To my dismay, he flatly refused.

I ran to my car with my dogs, grabbed a leash, and went back on the trail to look for the pup. After searching for some time, I couldn’t find her, and hesitantly got in my car to leave. But then on the way to the park exit, there was the little dog, standing by the side of the road. I jumped out and knelt down, gently calling for her. She came right up to me and luckily had a collar with a name tag (Abby), so I was able to contact her owner.

While waiting for her owner, I sat down in the grass with sweet little Abby. She licked me profusely, obviously relieved to see a friendly face. After several minutes of wet kisses, she laid down in my lap, rolled over for a belly rub and fell asleep, exhausted from running around lost for hours.

When Abby’s owner arrived, he explained that Abby had run off after a deer earlier that day. He’d been frantically looking for her, and was overjoyed that she was found and safe. He thanked me repeatedly, but I told him that I was the one who was thankful – for Abby.

The chance to help Abby had turned my routine afternoon at the dog park into a deeply moving experience, and it stayed with me for several days. That’s the beauty of compassion: it benefits everyone, not just the recipient. And that’s what we hope for our children to come to experience, through practice of their own acts of compassion.

How do you help instill compassion in your young children? We’d love to hear your experiences – post a comment!

It’s Earth Day!

Today (and every day) is Earth Day! Do your part to keep our planet healthy, and teach your little ones early on to help by making it into a daily adventure! From recycling and composting to joining conservation efforts (save the bees!), being earth-friendly is a must to keep our world a wonder-filled place for all.