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Teaching Your Kids To Give Back During The Holidays

how to get kids involved in charityIt’s the time of the year when giving back and charity is a common theme.  It’s something I have tried to celebrate and make a focus with my kids by involving them in charity whenever it plays a part in our life.

Isn’t that how we try to impart all good lessons and habits with our kids? If it’s something worth doing, it’s something worth involving your children.  Modelling good behavior is the best way to pass it down. From us eating vegetables to show our kids they’re yummy, to having them tag along when we perform acts of charity, it all has a trickle down effect.

Last year we had a talk at dinner about what Thanksgiving meant. My oldest responded that it meant you give other people food, and then you get food. We went the next day and dropped some cans in the food bank box at the store exit. That night, our neighbor brought us some fresh baked muffins. Out of the mouth of babes.

After the jump, some ways you can give back and how to get your kids involved in the process:


  • Toys At Christmas 1 of 5
    Toys At Christmas
    We use the same strategy as the food bank donations with the boys at Christmas. The boys go shopping for their most favorite toy with money they've saved up in their piggy bank and then, instead of keeping it, they go to our local firehall and drop it off to be donated to other children. Wouldn't you know it, Santa usually rewards their charitable spirit with a similar toy under the tree a few weeks later.

    Image Credit Buzz Bishop. No Use Without Permission.
  • Toy Recycling 2 of 5
    Toy Recycling
    Of course before the new toys can come in for birthdays or Christmas, room must be made. To avoid the overload of cluttering, I have the boys select some toys that younger kids might like and we send them to the thrift stores.
  • Food Bank Shopping 3 of 5
    Food Bank Shopping
    My radio station sponsors a food drive every autumn. I bring my boys and explain to them that we are collecting food for other kids who are hungry. We walk the aisles of the grocery store and they pick our their favorite foods to share with other kids. This year that meant noodles, popcorn, strawberry jam and Cheerios.

    Image Credit Buzz Bishop. No Use Without Permission.
  • Bring Them When You Volunteer 4 of 5
    Bring Them When You Volunteer
    Whenever I volunteer, I make a point of involving my kids. Each year I take a shift ringing bells for the Salvation Army (spiritual beliefs aside, I do support their community efforts). My son eagerly dons a furry red hat, jingles the bells, and canvasses for coins.



    Image Credit Buzz Bishop. No Use Without Permission.
  • Love The Planet 5 of 5
    Love The Planet
    This one is different, but I like to think the boys are learning to give back to the planet. When I want to throw something out, my oldest will correct me: "No, Daddy - you RECYLE it." If I'm about to throw food in the garbage I will hear "No Daddy, you need to COMPOST that." It's a little thing that bodes well for our future.

    Image Credit iStockPhoto

How do you teach your kids about charity and giving back?

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