Do you give charity regularly to those in need?
Many parents give generously after hearing about a natural disaster or terrorist attack, and unfortunately tragedies seem to happen more and more often thee days. Donating after a crisis is certainly wonderful, but the reality is many people struggle throughout the year. Helping regularly and not only during extreme circumstances is a good habit to model for your children.
To help your children acquire the habit of charity, consider engaging in the following activities as a family:
1. Help neighbors.
Help your neighbors out on a regular basis. Rake leaves or shovel snow for an elderly couple. Help a disabled neighbor plant flowers. Bake cookies for the postman. When someone leaves a plate at your house after bringing an edible contribution for a party, return the dish with a homemade item of your own. These seemingly small acts of kindness can make a big impact on the recipient.
2. Donate Clothes
Go through your closet with your children to find items you haven’t worn in the past year or two that can be donated to those in need. Encourage the kids to then go through their closets. Do not go through their closets without them; Let your children be a part of the process and help with the decisions for maximum value. Take the children with you when you bring the clothes to your local drop off location.
3. Deliver meals
Providing nutrition for those who are hungry is a much needed service all year round, not just during the holidays. Build food baskets as a family with canned goods (make sure they are not expired!) and other nonperishable items. Encourage the kids to decorate cards to accompany the food baskets.
4. Visit seniors at a nursing home
Your children can quickly brighten up an otherwise dreary day for those in nursing homes. Plan trips regularly- you need to only bring your smiles!
5. Collect your change to donate
Fill a charity jar with your spare change and invite your children to share some of their allowance. As the jar fills, decide as a family where to contribute the contents. If your children are old enough, let them do the research to find a cause that is meaningful to them.
By working together as a family, you will teach your children that donations of time and money are not only important in times of emergency. You will help them appreciate that reaching out to others is a way of life.