As part of the season’s traditions, a special area of Creative Discovery Museum will feature the Helping Handsexhibit for children to explore the concept of giving and how children and families can make a difference in their community. From Saturday, November 19, 2011 until Tuesday, January 3, 2011, children will have the opportunity to learn about giving their time, talents or treasure to help others. The Museum proudly presents the exhibit through a sponsorship with the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

In the Helping Hands exhibit, kids may learn about the Chattanooga Salvation Army and pretend to be a bell ringer. Children will also have an opportunity to post what philanthropy means to them and how they choose to give back.

Guests may play the role of donor by donating to the penny vortex in the lobby. Proceeds from the penny vortex will go to aid in theChattanooga Times Free Press’ “Neediest Cases fund.” Since 1914, the Chattanooga Times Free Press “Neediest Cases” fund has exemplified Chattanooga’s community spirit of compassion and generosity by making a real difference for someone in the Chattanooga area who needs immediate help. Guests will also be able to select a cause to support by using an iPad to vote from a list of local charities. This year, guests will be able to vote on a cause that will receive $500 from the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Possible causes include:

  • Disaster Relief for local families
  • Advocacy for people with disabilities
  • Advocacy for the homeless
  • Advocacy for families

”Creative Discovery Museum has a strong commitment to teaching children about the joy and the breadth of giving,” states Shannon Johnson, Exhibit Development Manager for the Museum. “That’s why during this traditional season of gift-giving, we feel it’s not only appropriate, but important for kids to understand that what they give – whether time, talent or treasure - is really meaningful to others in need.”

In the “Helpers-in-Residence” program, children will make a blanket for Project Linus, an organization that provides blankets locally to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, Chambliss Shelter, Ronald McDonald House and other local charities. Helpers-in-Residence will help young guests at various times within the exhibit.

During this time, Creative Discovery Museum will continue its “Pennies for Peace” program. The Pennies for Peace program is a service learning program of Central Asia Institute, which has been building schools in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan since 1993. The goal of “Pennies for Peace” is to broaden children’s cultural horizons and teach them about their capacities as philanthropists, while providing pencils, books, uniforms and other supplies for the students attending the schools built with donations to Central Asia Institute.