Teaching Little Ones to Give

I ran into a friend at the coffee shop this morning.

Susanne, with kids in tow, was telling me about an effort she has become involved in that focuses on providing children’s books to individual children, communities, and facilities in the wake of disaster (i.e. Joplin, MO) or simply in need. It’s called Building A Bookshelf and with the mantra “A book for every child” serves children all over the country.


 

As she spoke I was thinking to myself, “Wow. Another really great cause. They’re everywhere.”

Because of the organization’s focus I couldn’t help but think about my own kids. We are so blessed. My oldest donates a fair amount of time to various community organizations and causes, but what about her siblings? Is three too young to try to teach a sense of community responsibility?

No, it isn’t.

I made a list of activities I can engage in with my toddler twins to introduce them to the concept of philanthropy, and the beauty and joy that come with giving.  Here are my top three:

1)    Team Toy Drive. Create the opportunity to reinforce how fortunate your child is to participate in sports. At the sports team end-of-season get-together, encourage guests to bring a gently used book or toy for donation to a local shelter or children’s charity. Take your child along when you make the drop off.

2)    Grocery Gift. Make a special trip to the grocery store with your child with the sole purpose of donating a bag or two to your local food pantry. (Not sure where it is? Call around to the local churches. Chances are you’ll find one.) Engage your child in the shopping by encouraging them to help determine what to purchase.

3)    Adopt-A-Family. The holidays are the perfect time to talk to your child about the beauty of giving. Request a family with a child or children around the age of your own little one, then encourage them to help you shop. It can be difficult for kids to go to the store and choose toys to give away, but be patient, and keep the focus on the child in need. Your little guy or girl will get the message, and their compassion may surprise you.

I know how crazy life as a busy mom can be. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s about all we can do to keep our own families taken care of. I like these three options best because they can all be accomplished with my children on a single Saturday afternoon, but may produce big yields in terms of compassion and generosity in us all. 





Please add a comment

Leave a Reply



(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Please type the letters and numbers shown in the image.Captcha Code