Friday, November 29, 2013

Encourage Philanthropy in Your Children This Season and Beyond by Participating in Giving Tuesday {#GivingTuesday}

Giving Tuesday heart
It's Black Friday! When you opened your eyes this morning, what were the first thoughts that went through your head?

I have SO much to do today!
It's still dark out, but I need to get up, get dressed and go get in line to score some awesome deals!
There are so many people on my shopping list, I hope to be able to cross many of them off soon.
I shouldn't have eaten so much turkey yesterday!

Or something else?

Even though holiday decorations have been appearing in stores for weeks, for many today (and Cyber Monday) are the official kickoff into the season. The shopping! The spending! Buy, buy, buy!

Which is why it is even more important to take a step back from the commercial craziness and focus on something even more important: giving.

If you've always wanted to encourage the spirit of giving in your family and show the importance of giving back, it will be even easier next week on Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday banner

A movement to create a national day of giving on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, the second annual Giving Tuesday will be held on December 3rd, 2013. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, this is the perfect way for the giving community to come together!

Families and individuals are encouraged to be generous in whatever ways matter to them, whether that means volunteering at a local charity or donating to a favorite cause. There is no one way to give or one that is better than another, as long as you are participating in whatever way works for you — be that your time, your money or something more.

giving tuesday movement
I love the feeling of knowing that our family can help others, and I especially adore being able to incorporate my children into the process so that they can learn about charity and the importance of reaching out to others.

Some tips that we have utilized to encourage a generous spirit in our kids during the holidays and throughout the year include:
  • Remind your children that generosity isn't only about donating money — volunteering your time and talents are a great way to share. Make hats for local hospitals, visit nursing home residents, or offer to host a reading event at a local library.
  • Demonstrate that volunteering can be a year-round activity. Along with your child, plan an ongoing volunteering project that benefits a cause that is close to your hearts. For example, a monthly visit to an animal rescue center to assist the staff with walking and feeding the pets. Or, one of our personal favorites, delivering meals to the elderly for Meals on Wheels.
  • Involve your child in donating outgrown clothes, toys and books to a local charity. Set up a designated "donate" box in your home, and encourage your child to participate in adding items to the box, and delivering them to the chosen charity each month.
  • Read books together that highlight the importance of kindness. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister and The Lion and the Mouse by Aesop all feature acts of generosity and would be a great addition to your home library.
The implementation of some of these ideas (or others like them) can go a long way in teaching your children that being generous and reaching out to others in need can be a way of life each and every day.

I love having my girls be a part of our volunteering and donations (we have been a part of an Adopt a Family program for multiple years with our MOMS group and my kids have happily helped give toys, clothes, a full play kitchen with food, gift cards and more) and it warms my heart to see that they are receiving positive messages about our beliefs in the spirit of giving.

sister love

This year, on the heels of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is on December 3rd and is perfect for inspiring personal philanthropy and the encouragement of bigger, better and smarter charitable giving.

Join in by celebrating the importance of remembering to give and, by being a part of the #GivingTuesday movement, you'll be a part of showing that the world truly gives as good as it gets.

Does your family give back? How do you encourage the spirit of giving with your children?

I am partnering with The Motherhood as they launch their "12 Days of Giving" leading up to Giving Tuesday. Visit their site to follow along with their efforts and find more information on Giving Tuesday.


Janet W. said...

Kids can be so spoiled these days and take everything for granted. When my daughters were younger, I used to take them down to a homeless shelter in Atlanta so they could help serve food and others. It was an eye opening experience for all of us.

won said...

This is really big part of our family. Admittedly it came easier for my daughter than it does for my son....but bell ringing for the Salvation Army is on his horizon.

Wendy T

slehan said...

No kids, but this reminds me to get the toys together for the toy drive. I'll even do it on Tuesday. I volunteer year round.

slehan at juno dot com

Unknown said...

I do not have any kids however I do try hard to share my blessings with those less fortunate. I donated my free turkey this year to our church for a deserving family going thru hard times. The Christmas donation tree is up and I will be buying toys and diapers for the children.