Teaching Kids the Gift of Giving
In the past few years the level of charity and the spirit of giving has significantly increased, after experiences of natural disasters, global terrorist attacks and the war in Iraq. More persons after viewing the images steadily streamed on their TV sets, have been motivated to dig deeper into their pockets, and offer relief to the survivors of tragedies who have experienced horrific pain and suffering.
Parents are using the destruction resulting from these catastrophes, to help their children understand about charity and the importance of sharing with others in their time of need. Teaching kids the gift of giving has led to them even selecting the charity, to which the family can make generous donations. The kids also help in some instances to write the check and prepare the mail the envelope. Their children are now experiencing how the pain and agony associated with unimaginable loss, can be turned into expressions of love and compassion to strangers around the world.
The devastation occurring in recent times provides the opportunity for children to learn about charity. However, parents may want children to understand that charity is not just a one-time occurrence, but should be a way of life and a habit.
From time to time you should go through your closets and take out clothing you have not worn for a while, for donation to the Salvation Army or Goodwill who will distribute to the less fortunate. Your children should be encouraged to do the same, selecting the clothes and toys they want to donate. If you go through their closets without them present, the value of the activity is significantly reduced. Your children need to be involved in the selection of the items, and dropping them off at the charitable destination.
Engage in a service-oriented project on a regular basis, such as raking the leaves for an elderly couple. You could also bake pastries for a serviceman or servicewoman, or bake bread for delivery to the homeless feeding station in your neighborhood.
Purchase cat or dog food regularly and take it to the humane society, allowing your child to spend time with the gift recipients.
Create food baskets during the holidays and give to a family in need that your church or school has identified. Your children can be involved in the selection of canned food items, fruits and other treats. The gift package should then be decorated and the family deliver it together.
Change for a difference
A charity jar can be created for use by the family, when it is time to distribute allowances. The children will be encouraged to share some of their allowance with others and place these amounts in the jar. When the jar is full, the family will decide where the contributions will be made. Options could include buying gloves for needy children, saving a whale, or making contributions to a cancer charity. You can research various charities on the Internet and share the information, so your children can help to make an informed decision.
Perform tasks for the elderly that they have problems doing for themselves. You can collect sticks that have gathered in your neighbors yard after a windstorm. You can also mow the grass for Grandma, or wash the car for Grandpa, clean their windows in the spring and assist with the planting of flowers.