Teaching our children how rewarding it can be to give to others is one of the greatest lessons we can provide them with. It is something that they will remember as they get older and continue to do on their own throughout the rest of their lives. There are plenty of benefits to donating your used items to others and while the greatest joy is knowing that you helped someone less fortunate than you, that’s not the only advantage.
Donating Used Goods is Great for the Environment
Your child may already understand the importance of reduce, reuse, and recycle, but do they know that by donating their old items that they no longer use, they are also recycling? Instead of throwing out used clothes that have plenty of wear left in them or old toys that could still be played with, teach your child to donate them to a local charity. There are plenty of places that will accept clothing, gently used toys, and household items to either distribute to the poor, or sell to raise money for a good cause. You can also donate toys to local children’s hospitals for patients to play with. Or let your child help you sort through their old clothes to find items that are too small for them so that they can donate them to a local church or charity.
Give the Gift of Warmth This Winter
Do you have a ton of old coats, baby blankets that your children have outgrown? Set up a Coats for the Cold stand outside your home where others can take a coat, blanket, or any other item such as gloves or hats that they need but may not be able to afford. Similar free coat stands are showing up in major cities all throughout the country where you can give or take a coat if needed. If you don’t have time to set up one of your own, simply donate your winter items to one in your hometown.
Help Others Around the Neighborhood
If you have older kids who can take on the work, get them to help your elderly neighbors, the local church, or local animal shelter by volunteering. Kids can mow their neighbor’s lawn, walk shelter dogs, clean up litter, paint a fence, or anything that your local community may be in need of. Get the entire family involved and find out about where you can volunteer in your town. If you can’t donate money or used items, you can always donate your time.
Create a Charity Jar
Place a jar in the living room or kitchen where you can ‘donate’ money any time of year. Drop in loose change or make a donation request to find out if your kids would like to give some of their allowance each week. Once the jar is filled, decide on a favorite charity to donate it to. You can take turns so that everyone in the family has a chance to donate to their favorite cause. This is a great way to include everyone in the spirit of giving.
Give Back on their Birthday
A growing trend that is helping to set many kids off on the right foot is, instead of receiving presents on their birthdays, children are choosing to ask for donations to their favorite charities. Some have even donated their time on their birthday to help with their community. The birthday kid can raise money with their classmates for a local charity or ask their group of friends to volunteer with them at their nearby animal shelter.
How to Begin Teaching Children About Charity
There are so many great causes and activities out there where children can get an early start in donating to others, and they don’t all involve donating money or goods. Therefore, no matter what your financial status may be, you and your children can still give to others by simply volunteering your time.
Start early with small things such as donating old toys and clothing and work your way up to teaching your child about raising money or saving money to donate to special causes. Explain to them about the many different types of causes there are out there and always be prepared to answer their questions.
The younger that we can teach our children about the importance of giving, the better off they will be. It will instill a good habit into their lives that will follow the well into adulthood and become something that they will share with their own children one day.
Studies have shown that children who perform a random act of kindness experience an increased sense of wellbeing and acceptance among their peers. This can lead to a bounty of benefits such as higher academic achievement, better social skills, and better behavior overall.