Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Charity Begins at Home

I'm amazed at how much my children both understand and remember.  I'm blessed to be able to send my girls (ages 4 & 5) to a private school.  Not that I'm religious myself, but the school is Christian and it emphasizes charity and giving back to the community.  I LOVE that!

Last week my girls came home with a paper sack and were asked to add either a can of soup, a jar of peanut butter, or a jar of jelly to give to the needy.  Rather than grabbing something myself out of the cabinet, I let the girls pick what they wanted to donate.  Surprisingly, they choose to give away their own favorite foods.  (Now, come on moms, if it'd been you, you'd have grabbed that can of soup that no one's touched in a year, right?)  And as we carried the bags in on Monday morning, my five year old asked if the food was for the people whose houses fell down.

She was remembering how we brought in donations for the victims in Haiti.  Amazing!  They do remember giving -- start your kids young and you'll make a life-long impression on them about the importance of sharing your blessings, no matter how small the contribution.

If you need some ideas, here are some suggestions for getting your kids involved in the spirit of giving and thankfulness:

*  pick a gift from a giving tree and let your child select the presents to give (within reason, of course)

* let your kids select food to give to a local food drive

* sign up for and read to your kids online. For every book you read, a book is donated to charity.  It's a free way for you to contribute.  How cool is that?

* gets your kids involved in our Give Thanks, Give Books contest.  Let them pick out some books from their collection that they don't read anymore and want to give to less fortunate children.  I assure you that are many LOCAL charities out there who will gladly accept your gently used books.  Think homeless shelters, family shelters for abuse victims, boys or girls homes, children's hospitals, your local Guardian ad Litem program.  As long as you commit to donating a book or books (up to 10), you can enter our contest to win books or tunes yourself.

(And please, tweet about our book drive with the hashtag #givebooks !)

Any other ideas for sharing your blessings this November and teaching your children the value of giving back?


  1. Thanks for that reminder. As the holidays come around, and everyone is having a more challenging time this year, we should give where we can. I remember my cousin telling my dad and others what they could do to help her get through a difficult time after her attempt at suicide. She said, "If you want to help me - help out my mom." Wow, the family was stunned. They'd figured that as a single mom who never complained or asked for help, my Aunt didn't need it - but she did. Her kid's attempt on her life was based on the fact that her mother was killing herself also by trying to work, go to school and raise 2 kids. A little help goes a long way. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Amazing. You are raising some darn fine children, I'd say!

  3. Our family has begun giving holiday gifts like sewing machines through US aide organizations or planting trees in each others names. The only presents we actually hand to each other are books. The children really do understand the value of both and ask questions like, "What did we give to people this year?" Or, "What book did you get?" I love it.

  4. Love those ideas, Lee! My dad & step-mom started doing that too. They'd pick kids from giving trees to get presents for and then let us know that the gifts had been donated in our names. Great idea for adults, since really, what do I "need" at this point?

  5. LM - thanks for sharing that story. Just shows how important giving to others can be!

  6. they choose to give away their own favorite foods....... that is a good sign of the things to come (for them)


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