As parents, we want to raise good kids. One gift we can give our kids is to teach them the art of giving. I say *teach* them, as its not always natural for kids. Albert Einstein once said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
It’s easy for kids to become focused on the issues going on in their lives. The good news is that there are many ways to start getting your kids involved in giving back that are fun and will be lasting lessons in giving.
Kids of all ages can start volunteering in their own communities. Take them to visit senior centers or volunteer at local soup kitchens or food banks. Make Blessing Bag kits with your children and let them hand them out to people in need in your city! Don’t forget to check out our BIG list of Northwest Food Banks & other resources on places you can give through your couponing stockpile – have your kids go thru your pantry or toiletry supplies to bring a box of items to those who can use it the most.
Young kids –
Operation Christmas Child – Pack small gifts in shoe boxes around the holidays and send to a child in need in another country. Your kids can follow where their package is delivered too, and learn about that community.
We Give Books – Read a book to your child and a book is donated to another child! Let your kids pick the charity to donate too.
Heart for Heart Girls – Purchase a doll, and support that community. Girls can learn about that community. They can also sponsor a child in that community and write letters back and forth to make a personal connection with another child they are helping.
Older kids –
Fund a Small Business Loan – Let your older kids choose a small business to fund on sites like Kiva, and follow their progress building their business and supporting their families!
30 Hour Famine – Teens can raise money for the hungry and experience a little about what it feels like to be hungry. Run it with a small group of friends, or run it through a youth group, etc.
Host a movie party Order a free kit to host a party showing Jamaa, the story of Derik and Margaret — two children who lose much in Africa. The kits includes pictures of kids that need sponsors (among other supplies). You can let your child sponsor another child, and give them a chores list to do each month to raise the money to pay for it.
Meet Molly – Kid can watch a video of Molly and what her life in Kenya is like. They can then take a quiz and the World Food Program will donate a meal to a hungry child for each quiz they are taking.
Let kids get creative with their own ideas. They can share what they are doing on Instagram, to inform others (teaching advocacy). This gives kids ownership over their giving, and teaches them to get involved independent of parents facilitating the process too. You can use sites like Charity Navigator to help them find one to support if you do not already have one in mind.
What are your favorite ways to get kids involved in giving? We’d love to include your ideas, too, if you have any creative, fun suggestions!