It’s finally spring… even here in Maine! People are outside again, the grass is turning green, and there’s a overall excitement in the air. I don’t know about where you live, but in my neck of the woods, it’s also a big season for some of our favorite charitable events. There are so many great organizations and causes looking for support and lots of ways to get your whole family involved.
One of my big goals as a parent is to raise kids who are kind and generous, who give back and pay it forward. My boys are still very young and have a lot of growing to do. In no way do I expect that they’ll fully comprehend their philanthropy, but I do hope as they grow up their awareness, compassion, and commitment to helping others will continue to develop and I hope that they’ll feel good about their actions and empathy.
Photo courtesy of @DesireeEaglin
5 Ways to raise philanthropic kids
1. Lemonade stand with purpose
I guarantee that my kids aren’t the only ones that love having a lemonade stand. Next time your kids ask you to make the lemonade, encourage them to donate a portion of their profits to the local non-profit organization of their choice. Maybe even offer to match their earnings for extra incentive and to show your commitment to the cause and their efforts.
2. Peter Pan birthday party
When you host a “friends” birthday party, especially a larger one, the presents can often be too much… even when you politely request no gifts. Next time you’re planning a birthday party with your child, ask them if they would be interested in doing a Peter Pan birthday party. Instead of presents, have guests bring items for an organization you chose together, like a local pet shelter, food pantry, or children’s hospital. We’ve done a few of these and it’s always a win-win during the party and when I see my kiddo’s pride when delivering the gifts afterwards.
3. Make it a family affair
Spring is a great season to kick off your family’s commitment to giving back. Participate as a family in a charitable event, such as a walk/run for a cause, food drive, or neighborhood cleanup. Or, volunteer together with an organization of interest like pet shelter or soup kitchen.
4. Set up a spend/save/give piggy bank
My older boys both have piggy banks and I love the way they’re learning to earn and save their money. Recently, we’ve added a new component to the process. When their piggy bank is full and we head to the bank, they need to save a third, spend a third (usually they chose the toy store!), and give a third to an organization they choose.
5. Lead by example
It’s hard to expect something from our kids that we’re not modeling ourselves and while it can be daunting sometimes, we are our kids’ role models. Our level of involvement with being charitable changes with the season of our lives, but there are so many simple, easy ways to help organizations we believe in, even in our busiest times. Be sure your kids see what you’re doing to give back… it will go a long way!
Got you thinking? How do you, or how will you, help your kiddos give back?
This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.