#blog4cause

headerMy heart is heavy and I feel like now more than ever teaching our children about kindness and giving needs to be a priority. Many of our children are too young to comprehend or for us to explain what happened in Newton, Connecticut  but that doesn’t mean it can’t solidify our resolve to teach them to spread love and goodness and show them how by example. Here is the announcement of the campaign for more info.

#blog4cause isn’t a campaign with any ulterior motive it’s our way of reminding busy families like our own  to make time for intentional lessons about charity , giving and kindness. Teaching our kids by example about giving in a season of getting.

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This week my son’s school focused on the same charity we have made our cause and he went shopping in our pantry taking what he could carry in his backpack.  The other thing we did was sit down and choose toys to give to Toys for Tots.  This is something we do every year but now that my son is 6 he has a better understanding of what having no gifts at Christmas would feel like. While we talked about what toys to give we also talked about how children in need might feel. How parents who can’t afford to buy gifts for their kids might feel and how giving makes us feel. I don’t want my kids to simply give because mom and dad told them to, I want them to feel empathy and give because they want to help another person .   Together we chose to give 3 toys per child the same amount of toys they both get from Santa every year. Today we will drop them off at the mall and talk more about feelings and giving and hope something sticks.

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Have you and your children worked to spread joy and love this week? Do you have a #blog4cause post you can share and help inspire other parents? Add it to our link up below!

Also please don’t forget to add to our tally. This is a simple form to fill out that tallies up all the good our little ones have helped spread. Our goal is to show at the end of the campaign how small hands can make a big difference. So if your family has donated, worked in a soup kitchen, added pennies to a penny drive… add it in. I hope to wow my kids and yours with how much differences kids can make and how it’s just as important as what adults can do.

Tally Form Here



#blog4cause – Join the fun and do some good!

This week was the first week of #blog4cause and already there is evidence that little hands can make a big difference in this world.

For more info about #blog4cause and how you can teach your kids about giving this holiday season read our announcement here.

At our house we chose to focus our energy on our local food bank which really does so much more than just provides food. After school one day this week we packed up the Halloween candy and some staples and went in person to drop it off.

Why in person? Did the food bank need Halloween candy?

Going in person is really important. The food bank isn’t the box outside Safeway or the basket at church it’s a place where real people like the ones we greeted and chatted with get help and kindness. I wanted my children to have a reference point, an experience and hopefully a deeper connection. The Halloween candy wasn’t so much for the me, women and families as it was a lesson in giving away something you care about. My son isn’t sacrificing anything when he drops a can of soup into the bag but choosing which candies to part with on Halloween night was a sacrifice and that was the lesson there. After dropping off the  food we asked one of the volunteers what they need most and got a list I had my son read back to me.

Teaching kids about needing and giving doesn’t happen all in one dramatic shot, it takes time. We are up for the challenge and excited for #blog4cause.

Kristen over at Busy Kids = Happy Mom ( a completely awesome blog if you haven’t been you must go check it out) liked up a wonderful post about Operation Christmas Child and how she and her kids are making a big difference . I love that she shares how to participate in this wonderful cause for very little out of pocket . Giving isn’t about cutting huge checks , you don’t need to be rich to make a difference . Read her inspiring post about Operations Christmas Child , it might just be the perfect cause for your family!

Don’t forget if you are participating make sure you enter your work in our tally , we want to show everyone how amazing kids can be at the end of the campaign, No action is too small, no donation insignificant!

If you have blogged about your experiences don’t forget to link up below . I will feature one great post every week to inspire and educate.



 

#blog4cause { Little Hands Can Make A Big Difference}

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.



Hands On Learning- Giving To Charity

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?