Giving Back

  • img1

Teaching kids to give back

Charitable giving is a part of the holiday season for many people who are spurred to donate for various reasons, including the general spirit of giving synonymous with the holidays.

That giving does not have to be exclusive to adults. Parents who want  to show their youngsters this season is about more than presents can approach that task in various ways, including involving kids directly in giving back to their communities or helping the less fortunate.

Volunteer work

Kids of all ages can volunteer. Acclimate youngsters to the idea of volunteering this holiday season. Youngsters' efforts need not be elaborate. Toddlers can help collect food for a food pantry while school-aged children can assist elderly neighbors. The entire family can work together at a school, hospital or nursing facility. The earlier children become accustomed to giving back, the more inclined they may be to continue those efforts and make it a central part of their lives.

Clean out the closet

Donating items also can teach kids valuable lessons, including helping them recognize how fortunate they are and how they are in a position to help those who are not so lucky. Parents and children can work together so it doesn't seem like the little ones are the only ones giving away their belongings. Adults also should sort through their items and have an equally impressive pile of donations. In addition to local clothing collection bins, there are regional and national collection services that may even pick up items right from your home.

Bake sale

Another fun way children can get involved is by hosting a bake sale or craft sale. The proceeds of all items sold can be used to benefit a charity chosen by the kids. Let youngsters set the course for the creative extravaganza.

Clean up

Families can work together to clean up a stretch of beach or a local park or even make improvements to a neighborhood playground. Ideas include painting murals, installing benches and cleaning up litter. Just be sure to get permission from the property owner or appropriate civic authorities so that your project is not interrupted or deemed illegal.

Educate others

Children old enough to understand the plight of others can help to spread knowledge and awareness about particular issues. Ask a teacher if children can speak in front of the class about their charitable efforts and what others can do to make real changes.