This month’s focus has been all about giving -- and is part of the reason we love the holiday season so much. And with a new year on the way, it’s the perfect time to encourage the spirit of giving all year long.
The act of giving is “win-win” in so many ways. We were inspired by this article that was published in Parents Magazine, Thrive in 2025: Raise a Kid Who Gives, and hope it inspires you too.
Raising children who are giving helps the recipients and givers too. Research shows that kids who volunteer do better in school and are more likely to stay out of trouble. Giving also leads to happiness, as the act of helping others and empathy literally makes givers feel good. It also helps build confidence and shows kids that their actions matter, and that they can make a difference.
Here are 4 ways your littles can be giving too:
1- Help them choose a cause
Guide your kids in choosing a cause close to their heart. If they need some inspiration, visit GenerationOn.org for a list of the types of organizations and projects they can help support. This might tie back to something they've experienced, or perhaps a challenge your family has undergone together. It can even be associated with a passion of theirs, such as art or animals, for example.
2- Collect old clothing and toys
On a rainy day, do a cleanup and get the kids to pitch in and get involved by putting aside all the toys, books and clothing to give away. They'll feel great about knowing their old things are helping others. You can even involve them in the drop-off, for example, if you're delivering their books to a children's hospital.
3- Giving during birthdays
In your child's birthday invitation, ask guests to bring an item to donate (it can be as simple as a can or box of non-perishable food). You can also request that in lieu of birthday gifts, your child requests donations to his favorite charity. And then you can buy the birthday boy or girl a gift or two, in honor of their special day!
4- Make it a family tradition
Go to a local charity and volunteer for a morning or afternoon, especially during holidays or school breaks. Make it an annual tradition!
Let’s make 2017 a year of being kind, being generous, and being good. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!