If not for yourself, do it for Wilford Brimley

On an almost daily basis, we’re lambasted with news about increasing childhood obesity rates, the devastating effects of video games, and the general apathy of...

On an almost daily basis, we’re lambasted with news about increasing childhood obesity rates, the devastating effects of video games, and the general apathy of American youngsters. But are the nation’s elementary schools and junior highs really destined to be crawling with selfish, spoiled tub-o-lards? Not if Quaker has anything to say about it.

In partnership with Kids Care Clubs -- a national organization dedicated to raising “compassionate, community-minded” children -- the Chicago-based oats ‘n’ snacks purveyor this week launched a campaign to help moms get their 5- to 13-year-old kids involved in and committed to volunteer efforts.

On the campaign Web site, moms can find youth-volunteerism tips, facts, and success stories, as well as mini-grant applications and coupons for free and discounted Quaker products. In addition, Quaker and Kids Care Clubs tapped actress-parent Joely Fisher to serve as official Youth Volunteerism Ambassador.

The effort also kicks off the annual Kids Care Week, Oct. 21-27. According to Quaker, “tens of thousands” of civic-minded youngsters across the country will participate in volunteer projects throughout the week, from assisting in library literacy programs to making crafts with senior-center residents.

Will the members of that noble youth brigade continue volunteering on Oct. 28? On Jan. 1? When they have children of their own? That remains to be seen. What’s for certain is, all that do-gooding can make a kid mighty hungry. Let’s hope mom brings home plenty of Quaker Chewy Granola Bars.

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