This week’s Friday Finds features the Nature Pal Exchange.
This week’s Friday Finds features a very special program called Nature Pal Exchange. Earlier this year, two homeschooling moms on opposite coasts of the United States thought it would be fun to collect and exchange nature items their families discovered in their native environments, and the Nature Pal Exchange program began!
So here’s how it works. Residents of the United States or Canada only who have children living at home can sign up through a dedicated link, filling out their family’s information. Nature Pal Exchange then uses this information to pair you with another family, with similar aged children if possible, located in a different region. As their site claims, “It’s like having a pen pal with nature items included,” and it’s a fantastic way to introduce your kids not only to different geographic regions of the United States and Canada, but also to discuss what types of plant, mineral, animal, and other natural items can be found in those areas.
In order to participate, Nature Pal Exchange requires each registrant to make a $5 (or more) donation to Elpis Ministries International, a non-profit organization that provides education, medical care, food, clothing, and housing support for more than 100 children at the Hope Ministries Orphanage in Iganga, Uganda. All funds donated go directly to Elpis and are non-refundable. Once registered and assigned a Nature Pal, you have a few weeks to collect items and ship them by a specified deadline.
Sign ups are open only for a short period of time seasonally, or until the limited number of slots are filled. Fall registration just closed yesterday. I apologize for not letting you know about it sooner, but I just found out about the program the other day myself! If you missed this round, sign up for Winter 2015. Be sure to follow Nature Pal Exchange on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with registration times and to get creative ideas about collecting, studying, and presenting your nature items.
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