The best way to show appreciation to your community is to give back. It’s also a great time to show your kids that any charitable action — big or small — can have a real impact on people. Getting the whole family on board with philanthropic endeavors is a bonding experience unlike any other. There are a variety of ways to get your kids involved that will make lending a hand feel effortless, and Cars2Charities explains how.
1. Lead By Example
Your kids will enjoy helping you pick out nonperishables to donate. They’ll be happy to share their favorite brand of mac ‘n’ cheese or the best canned foods they can find. You can explain the situation and that many times people just give the things that have been sitting in the pantry unused. But something a little more special can really make someone else’s day.
2. Show Them They Already Do It
Random acts of kindness like voluntarily helping with chores, holding the door open for someone, or mowing the neighbor’s lawn demonstrate positivity. Thinking of others first is easy if it’s a habit. Let your children know that you see their good deeds and this recognition is the kind of reward that will reinforce their good behavior.
3. Let Them Choose Their Own Causes
Compile a list of age-appropriate causes and let them choose the ones that matter the most to them. Like adults, they’ll be more apt to have the desire to support a cause that matters to them, or that they can identify with. For example, children’s hospitals that are in need of toys, or farms where they can interact with animals and donate money.
4. Teach The Value Of Money
Combine philanthropy with a lesson on money management. Provided that they’re old enough, each time they get their allowance, teach them the importance of dividing the funds between charity, savings, and fun. Make sure you’re doing the same, so that you stick to the “lead by example” rule. Remember to correctly itemize your charitable donations when you do your income taxes at the end of the year so it reflects on your return. When they’re older, they’ll remember this side of you and will emulate your actions if they have the means.
5. Value of Giving to Other Communities
Encourage your children to think beyond their city, and even their country. There are plenty of causes and communities that can use assistance. For example, your family could sponsor a child through Save the Children. Whether in Mexico, Uganda, Nepal, the Philippines; your family can send money to provide access to education, health supplies, food and clean water. Alternatively, you can choose to send money to specific charities in specific locations. If you want to support a cause in Jalisco, Mexico, for example, your donation could go further if you send money via a wire transfer service. A platform like Remitly offers safe and secure transfers, and you can typically get a great conversion rate for dollars to pesos.
6. Teach The Value Of Time
While some organizations don’t allow children to volunteer, others don’t mind as long as they’re with an adult. Seek out these opportunities to show your kids there are ways to help even without a donation. Some examples include working in a meal program kitchen, planting a tree, cleaning up parks or beaches, or engaging with seniors at a retirement home.
7. Multitask Your Charitable Efforts
Keep a box in a common place like the garage where your family can regularly place gently-used items for donation. When it’s full, take it to your local drop off point or schedule a pickup. Make it a family rule to try and put at least one item in the box each month. Not only will this help keep your home clutter-free, but it will establish the habit of giving. You can even extend this concept to your garage. If you have an older car you no longer drive, consider donating it to charity. Cars2Charities takes any vehicle, whether it runs or not, makes repairs or improvements, then sells the car, and 50-80% of the proceeds go to your preferred charity.
8. Teach Them The True Meaning Of Christmas
Teach your kids that the holidays are about much more than receiving gifts. Choose from one of several organizationsthat specialize in giving impoverished and/or sick children a fulfilling Christmas. It’s easy to get caught up in the materialism of the season. But with a little conscious effort, you can focus on what really matters.
There are many life lessons that come from doing charitable work that are liable to stick with your kids — especially if you’re doing them on a regular basis.