Within the past few years, many people have been spurred to give more to charity after seeing the pain and suffering that is a result of war, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. Great tragedies have spurred greater generosity, and passing on the idea of charity to your children is just as important as giving yourself. Summer is here, the kids are home from school, and this gives you the perfect opportunity to begin teaching your child about charity. Of course, you want to teach your children that charity is much more than a one-time thing. It is important that you teach them that giving should become a way of life for them. Are you unsure where to begin? Here is a look at why teaching charity is important, how you can set the example, and tips for teaching your child about charity. And Remember, it is important to stress KIDS CAN and DO Make a Difference!
Why is Teaching Charity Important?
You may be thinking that your kids are simply children right now. Why is it so important that you teach them charity? There are a number of reasons that it is very important to teach your children all about charity and get them involved in helping others. First, many children today grow up being very self centered – they never think about the pain and suffering that others go through. Teaching charity will help them to look beyond their own wants and needs.
Another reason that you should teach charity to your children is to help them develop compassion for others. No doubt, you want your child to grow into an adult that is loving and compassionate. Teaching them about charity can help. You will also find that teaching your child about charity can help them deal with the tragedies that they often see on television. For example, children are often disturbed and upset of the images shown on television of animals hurt by the recent oil spill. Getting children involved in a charity helps them to feel that there is something they can do to help.
Reasons Kids Should be Involved in Charity Endeavors
Now that you know why teaching charity to kids is so important, here are just a few of the reasons you should get your kids involved in charity endeavors.
Reason #1 – Help Others – When children get involved in charity endeavors they have the ability to help others. This is an important life lesson that kids should learn. Society today has become very self centered, so trying to instill the idea of helping other people is a great reason to start getting your kids involved in charity work.
Reason #2 – They Can Learn About Issues that Interest Them – Charity endeavors also allow kids to learn about issues that interest them. There are many opportunities for volunteering and various charities out there, which means your child is sure to find an option that they find interested. If your child has a deep love for marine life, a charity to help save marine life is a wonderful idea. Perhaps your child is concerned about other children going hungry. Getting them involved in a charity that helps to feed children is a wonderful option.
Reason #3 – Eliminate Summertime Boredom – Kids often find themselves very bored during the summer months. Getting involved in a charity can keep your kids busy and help them beat boredom during the summer as they help other people.
Reason #4 – Children Develop a Better Perspective on Life – One more reason that kids should be involved in charity endeavors is to allow them to get a better perspective on life. As your child helps others who are in great need, they will quickly learn how fortunate and privileged they are, which will change their entire outlook on life, now and in the future.
Setting the Example as a Parent
Of course, as a parent, charity is going to begin with you. Kids mimic you and the way that you act. If they see you getting involved with charities, more than likely they will follow your example. How can you better set the example of getting involved in charity work? Here are a few pointers.
Start By Talking – You want to start by talking to your kids about charity. Discuss how charity ties into the values that you hold as a family. Tell your children what charity means, discuss how charities help others, and even talk about ways that you give to charities.
Show Them – Of course, you need to do more than talk. Show them a good example of charity. Your actions should teach lessons in charity. Donate canned goods to homeless, give a few dollars at a grocery store to help a charity, or gather up some clothes and give them to a shelter in your area. This way you lead by example.
Ways to Teach Your Child About Charity
You can work on teaching your child about charity many ways. You want them to acquire charity as a habit, and many strategies can be used as a family. Here is a look at some excellent ways you can begin teaching your children this important lesson.
Way #1 – Donate Used Clothing - One great way to teach your child about charity is to donate used clothing. Go through your own closet and take out clothing you don't need or wear. Allow your children to do this as well. Clothing and other items, like shoes and toys, can also be donated. When you are ready to drop off these items, take kids along so they get the experience of giving to others.
Way #2 – Give to Pets – Another option is to help kids give to pets. Most kids love animals. Go out, purchase some cat or dog food, and take them to a humane society in your local area. Let your kids spend some time playing with the animals as well.
Way #3 – Help Out Your Neighbors – You can also teach kids about charity simply by helping out your neighbors. Maybe there is an older couple in your neighborhood. Help as a family with some yard work or take them a nice meal. If you have a family who has a family member at war, show kindness by taking some cookies or some other treat to the family.
Way #4 – Deliver Food Items – Have your children help you buy and save up food items. Drop them off at local food banks. Another idea is to build up a food basket full of food items and take it to a family in need. Let kids help pick out foods and allow them to decorate the basket or package to give to someone who needs it.
Way #5 – Save Change and Donate it to a Charity - Consider having a jar where you all save spare change. Add in spare change you collect and allow kids to donate some of their allowance to the jar. Once you fill up your jar, decide as a family what charity you will donate the money to.
Choose Your Cause – Top Charity Ideas for the Entire Family
As you teach kids more about charity, you may have money you want to donate or you may want to find charities you can volunteer for too. You definitely want to choose worthy charities that are really making a difference today. As you try to decide where to focus your efforts as a family, here are some excellent charities ideas that the entire family can get involved in. These are just a few great charities. The best thing to do is as a family, research different ones and decide together on one or more than one that really speaks to your heart.
National Wild Life Federation - Kids don't need to feel hopeless or helpless about the BP oil spill. You can teach them about the environment and show them how they can help. The National Wildlife Association is working to help wildlife impacted by the BP oil spill, but can use everyones help. Find out more here –> www.nwf.org
Operation Smile – Operation Smile is a charity that funds medical volunteers to help children who are born with cleft palates. One surgery can be funded for $240. Find out more at www.operationsmile.org.
Love Without Boundaries – Love without Boundaries is an organization that is comprised of people from all over the world working towards one common goal, to improve the lives of orphaned and impoverished children in China. Visit www.lovewithoutboundaries.com to find out more.
Alex's Lemonade – Alex's Lemonade foundation started in the year 2000, the day after Alex turned 4 she Alex received a stem cell transplant and informed her mother and said "when I get out of the hospital I want to have a lemonade stand." Today Alex's Lemonade Foundation is working hard to battle Childhood Cancer, one cup at a time with over 100,000 people helping in the fight. Learn more at www.alexslemonade.org
Unicef and Kiwanis – This year they have teamed up to help protect mothers and babies from Tetanus. The Eliminate Project will help by delivering these life saving vaccines those who need it most and are most vulnerable: Women and Children in conflict zones and very difficult to reach remote areas. Learn more about the Eliminate Project Here
Big Brothers Big Sisters – A great organization that helps children and strengthens communities. For over 100 years Big Brothers Big Sisters have been matching adult volunteers to children to help develop a positive impact and a lasting effect. You can learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters here: www.bbbs.org
OperationSafe International - They work hard to Help children after trauma through / art / story / games / play / song / dance / film / love / hope / people who care. Visit and learn more at www.opsafeintl.com
Ronald McDonald House – The Ronald McDonald House is an excellent charity. This charity helps to provide housing for family members of children that are seriously ill. Find out how you can help at www.rmhc.org.
Habitat for Humanity – Habitat for Humanity is a charity that helps to build homes for people who are poor. You can get involved in a local chapter and volunteer to actually help build homes or you can donate money to this program as well. Learn more and find your local office by visiting www.habitat.org.
Special Olympics – Another option is the Special Olympics, which provides training and competitions for adults and children dealing with mental retardation. Fund raising or volunteering can be helpful. Visit www.specialolympics.org to find out how your family can help.
Salvation Army – The Salvation Army helps people in many ways, and you can donate furniture, cars, money, or even volunteer. Find out more about these opportunities at www.salvationarmyusa.org.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure – This is a charity that raises money to help fight breast cancer and to help find a cure. They are known for the Race for the Cure, which you can raise money for and race in as a family. Find out how at www.komen.org.
The American Red Cross – The American Red Cross is well known for responding during emergencies. There are volunteer opportunities available and donations are always accepted. Learn more at www.redcross.org.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital – This is a hospital that is committed to saving children and finding cures for childhood diseases. You can donate money and help make sure this hospital can afford to stay open, helping children. Learn more about available opportunities at www.stjude.org.
These are just a few of the many excellent charities out there that you can get your children involved in. Whether you decide to volunteer as a family or you simply work on raising money as a family, you will be instilling the idea of charity into your child's heart. No child is too young to start learning about charity. Whether you have a five year old or a fifteen year old, the time to start talking about charity is now. With these tips and ideas, teaching kids about charity becomes a lot easier. This summer, take the time to teach kid about charity and get involved as a family in helping others.