The future leadership of communities lies in the hands of children. In addition to quality education, philanthropy provides a great tool for childhood and community development.
Involving your children, no matter the age, in philanthropy is a great way to teach values of community, charity and helping your fellow man. In addition to learning from their idols (their parents/family leaders), children can practice goodwill by participating in their family’s giving plan.
A few ways children can serve as “young” philanthropists include:
- Donating gently used toys, books and clothes to other children who may benefit
- Redirecting birthday and holiday gifts to other children or organizations
- Special occasions (such as birthdays, first communions, bar/bat mitzvahs, graduations) which are promoted with invitations and recognized with gifts, can encourage giving contributions to local charities in lieu of gifts
- Volunteering with family members at local missions, food distribution centers, and special events
- Participating in youth giving funds or circles
Family volunteering engages children in philanthropy and creates a unique way of spending time together. Ideas and opportunities are limitless and family fun is just one benefit. Subject matter during family meals and on family trips could be around service and community giving. Another idea could even be a volunteer activity on the family’s next vacation.
Involving children in a family’s giving or philanthropic activity can do wonders toward greater family connectivity and communication. Plus, it’ll teach children about appreciation, values, and communal support.