Monday, November 14, 2011

How to Teach Your Child to Give


Three billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day. Seventy percent of those living on less than $1 per day are women.

Look around your child's room, I bet it's filled with at least two of these things: a television, a gaming system, an Ipod or MP3 player, a computer, Ipad, or a cellphone. Was I right?

I'm not implying it's bad to give these things to your children, what I am asking is: Do your children know how to give back to others who are less fortunate and do they realize how blessed they are?

 5 simple ways you can cultivate an attitude of selflessness in your children:

  1. Learning to Give is an excellent site that provides parents, students, teachers, schools, faith based groups and others easy and creative ways to give back. This site offers lesson plans, a project of the month with downloadable materials, and real stories of kids who give back. For teachers: Schools can become a Generation School-check it out!
  2. Plan a family mission outing once a month to a local shelter and serve dinner like my friend Jackie, a Mom on a Mission. If you are local (Asheville ) you can contact Jackie to help serve at our local women's shelter. 
  3. Look through your child's books and magazines and donate gently used ones to your child's school or to a local shelter. I know from experience that school budgets have been slashed and teachers need all the help they can get. If you have a local used book store like ours (Mr. K's) take your gently used books there and trade them for store credit and give it as a thank you gift to your child's teacher. Teachers would love to be able to choose books for their classroom. 
  4. A colleague teaches her son how to give every time they go grocery shopping. Before they check out, her son chooses one canned food item to donate to a local food bank. As they unload groceries, they place the canned food item into their "donation box" and when the box is full, they drop it off at a food bank.
  5. Donate gently used items to Goodwill.  Every month, I filter through our closets and place items in a "donation box". When the box is full, I take it to a Goodwill drop off center or to the store itself. I love Goodwill because I know my donations are used to get people back to work. If you want to see how your donation of that 'old'  to you coat helps others-try the calculate your impact feature on Goodwill's site The Donate Movement.

Happy Giving!

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