As a former teacher I have always been confident in my ability to teach facts, figures and all the basics to my kids . What I worry about more is teaching them how to be generous and giving as well as confident enough to stand up for causes they believe in . This summer Amy from Teach Mama , Amanda from Not Just Cute and I had the pleasure of all attending EVO. While there we came up with this idea of getting our readers excited about teaching their kids about giving and standing up for what they believe in first hand. We didn’t want to limit families to one charity or cause because we wanted each of you to choose something close to your heart, your community and something your child could get involved in.
My children and I will be devoting our time, money and toys to our local food bank. Every Saturday I will put up a reminder to link up, tally and to spotlight any work we have done for our cause and what others have done too. Seeing little hands making a difference is totally inspiring!
How does this work? Read our full resource document here .Included are some great causes if you aren’t sure which to choose.
The basics are as follows:
- Choose a cause.
- Introduce your child(ren) to the cause and participate as a family in serving in some way. Donate food, sell baked goods and donate the proceeds, gather clothing or toys… the possibilities for giving are endless .This initiative runs until December 31st 2012.
- Come back and tell us all about it. Link up a blog post about it. Take a picture of your kids giving back. Tweet or instagram it using the #blog4cause hashtag .We want to show the world what a big difference little hands can make. Add your blog post about it below and add the details of your experience in our tally . In early January we will tally up all hours served, all food and toys donated and all the difference little hands can make.
Teaching children about charity is in my opinion one big must do for parents. It’s invaluable for children to learn how to give , serve and contribute to their community in positive ways. I think of it similarly to introducing new foods, lead by example , be creative and don’t expect the lesson to stick right away.
Every year our neighborhood has a large community garage sale and this year we set up a small bake sale to go along with it. When I asked my son who we should give the earnings to he suggested “The Poor.” We talked about what being poor meant and decided our local food bank was a great place to donate our earnings to.
Together we went to the food bank to check it out. My son got to see people going in for groceries, volunteers stocking shelves and we talked to one of the managers to see if there were any special requirements we needed to meet in order to hold a bake sale. This step was so important for a 4 year old, it took an abstract concept of giving money to “The Poor” to giving to a real concrete place and people.
Then we got to work . We went to the store got a poster paper and decided on the wording.
I did the writing. He decorated it.
Got some cookies – no we didn’t bake them ourselves. I worry about allergies, especially since we were selling them to strangers. Since it was store bought I had the ingredients label in my pocket if anyone had a question. We bake periodically for friends and church for other kid friendly service projects.
Set up, in the garage because of rain, but it didn’t seem to matter.
We had 30 cookies to sell and they all sold out in about 2 very rainy hours. He was a great salesman , greeting customers, being polite when people said they were not interested and handling the money as well.Our total came to just over $32 !
Then this morning we wrote a note to the food bank . I tried to be as hands off as I could so I wrote but he dictated it. Then we dropped it off, I had him walk it up to the counter and explain what it was. He was so proud to hand the money to them. In the way out he saw some ladies walking in and asked me if he helped them. I think the lesson is sinking in.
Whether you give the money to charity or choose to use a sale like this to teach about earning and saving it’s a great way to spend time working together .
Our set up was very basic but check out these lemonade stands and bake sale set ups from around the web!
Love this computer desk turned into a lemonade stand at Just Sew Sassy
If this smile from Frugal Family Fun Blog doesn’t make you want lemonade I don’t know what will!
How have you tried to teach your children about giving to charity?
Teaching your children especially the littlest ones about giving, charity and service is not an easy task . When I try to explain why we give to charity to my son sometimes his questions stump me and I am not used to being stumped by kid questions. After much thought I decided the best way to learn is by example and we can all get into the spirit together. From today until Christmas Day, I want to see how many acts of charity, service and giving we as a blog community can accomplish with our kids. Every Saturday I will showcase these acts of giving in a photo slide show and feature one on the blog. It’s not a contest, it’s not a giveaway, it’s just a way for our kids to make a difference and to be a part of something greater than themselves .
Here is what you need to do :
1.Go do some good ( donate a toy, drop off some food at a food bank, shovel an elderly neighbors driveway, take dog food to the local shelter…)
2. Take a picture of that good deed.
3. Send that picture to us : firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ” Giving” feel free to add a blurb about what your child is doing, their reaction or thoughts.
4. Visit the blog on Saturdays (Starting December 4th) to see how many good deeds were done and your picture in the slide show- and to see what the “Good Deed Of The Week” was .
Together we can show our kids how important taking care of each other is and how even little hands make a big difference!