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Friday, November 30, 2018

5 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Giving Back


This guest post was written by our friends at DonorsChoose.org, the nonprofit site that makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need.

Giving is an important part of your life. But how can you make sure your kids will grow up knowing how to give back? Here are four tips you can put into practice today to teach your children the importance of giving — and help them get started.


Introduce random acts of kindness
Whether you’re complimenting a friend on their new shoes, holding the door open for a stranger, raking an elderly neighbor’s yard, or something else entirely, nothing gives you an endorphin rush like a random act of kindness! The same goes for your kids. When you see them do something selfless, tell them you noticed. Even better, brainstorm a random act of kindness you can complete together. 

Let your kids take part in your own giving
If you give or volunteer in your community, bring your kids along to help. You’ll serve as an awesome example. And (bonus!) you’ll have someone to help carry all those bags into the donation center.

If you give online, your kids can still be part of the equation. As you’re making your usual donation to your favorite charity, bring your kids in on the good deed by letting them click that big “send” button. You can even help them pick a charity of their own to send $5 to. On our classroom funding platform, many donors team up with their kids to pick classrooms to help. Check out this note, left on a classroom request, to a teacher from a supporter’s child: “I hope the supplies are helpful and thank you for caring for your students! I know it must be difficult for you and your students to not have essential items. Being a 6th-grade student, I know what it is like for people to go to school and not be supplied. Lots of love! Kya.”

Make gratitude a ritual
It’s so much easier to explain why giving is important when a child feels gratitude themselves. You can build gratitude into your child’s life by taking advantage of moments that naturally occur. If there’s a weekly meal you have with your family, a sporting event or movie night you watch together, or another moment of family time you regularly enjoy, take a moment for each person in the family to share one thing they’re grateful for.

Special occasions are also a great moment to practice gratitude. Do you celebrate birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, or other special days where gifts are exchanged? After everything is opened, help your kids write a thank-you note or two to the people who gave them presents.

Highlight the impact of helpers in difficult situations
When natural disasters or other difficult situations arise, kids worry too. When these difficult moments arise, there’s no better advice than that of Mr. Rogers himself: “Always look for the helpers. There’s always someone who is trying to help.” Not only do these sage words often comfort children; they also help kids see that there are so many good-hearted people in the world willing to give their energy, time, and hard-earned money to make a difference. 

Visit DonorsChoose.org to get essential tips and incredible stories about giving.


Interested in learning more about DonorsChoose.org and other highly-rated charities that are helping teachers and students in classrooms around the country? Check out this post!

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