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With all the devastation of Hurricane Harvey happening right now, giving back is on a lot of people’s minds. An important part of raising responsible global citizens is showing our children the value of compassion, empathy, and supporting those in need through charity. We all know how big the hearts of children are already, so here are some easy ways to encourage them to use it to give back to their community, whether it’s across the world or right in their own neighborhood.
1. Involve Them in Your Family's Charity Decisions
Include your little one in the conversation and decision-making about the charities your family supports. Every charity has an origin story, and it’s usually extremely inspiring. Share that story with your child, and then ask their opinion on which charities they feel called to give back to most. Involving them in the conversation will show them that giving back is an essential part of life, and that it’s something they aren’t too young to participate in.
2. Take Them With You When You Donate or Volunteer
Allow your little one to experience something as simple as your Good Will dropoff. Put your volunteer dates on the family calendar, and make it a family event. If you make a trip to the store to purchase supplies that you are donating for a relief effort, take them with you and involve them in checking the items off the list. Explain to them where the items are going and who will be using them. All of these small actions will teach them about the process of giving back, as well as reinforce that it is a priority.
3. Get Creative!
Nowadays, there are so many creative ways to give back without donating money. Suggest that your child turn their next birthday party into an opportunity for guests to donate essentials to a local animal shelter rather than bring gifts. Or, have your little one host an Alex’s Lemonade Stand when the next fundraising period comes around. Do a little of your own research on some creative options available and present them to your child so they can choose what interests them.