How To Encourage The Spirit of Giving In Young Children?

How To Encourage The Spirit of Giving In Young Children?

Julia Claire Campbell Nonprofits 3 Comments

How To Encourage The Spirit of Giving In Young Children?

As a parent who works with many nonprofit organizations, both as a consultant and as a volunteer, I often wonder how to communicate what I do to my young daughter.

Some mothers are doctors, teachers, stay-at-home moms, retailers, police. How to explain what I do to a three-year-old when often the adults I encounter don’t get it?

Teaching my daughter the principles of giving is important to me. I posed this question in a Facebook group for moms that I administer, and I got some great answers and ideas. I will share them with you here.

Give what you have, whether it is money, items or time.  Ideas from my mom’s group:

We collected canned goods to give to a food pantry. I made sure that the kids knew it was going to make food baskets and that one time someone made a food basket for us when she was a baby.

We collected canned goods to give to a food pantry. I made sure that the kids knew it was going to make food baskets and that one time someone made a food basket for us when she was a baby.

Packing up toys and sharing them with kids who don’t have as much; Making a food together and bringing it to a soup pantry; Volunteering at clean up at a soup pantry; Trying on old clothes and donating the ones that don’t fit.

Research local nonprofits. Many have Giving Trees this time of year, where you can select a tag, buy a specific gift and provide it to a child in need in your community.

Also many organizations have Wish Lists of items that are desperately needed, so call your favorite local charity and ask!

Use birthdays and holidays as a way to get less while giving more. Who needs more plastic crap in their house? One mom said that she asked birthday party guests to bring a new or used children’s book to donate to a local charity and then we gave them to a children’s charity.

Another friend of mine said that every other year she is going to request pantry staples for soup kitchens in lieu of birthday gifts, and then have her daughter go with her and make the donation to instill a sense of pride.

Give the gift of giving! Don’t worry about getting your dad another tie, or your mother another pair of slippers. Let them know you care by letting them give their own gift to charity. Razoo Gift Cards can be used to support more than one million charities.

This type of gift is perfect for older children – they can determine where their gift will go and support a cause that means a lot to them, whether it is anti-bullying, animals, the environment, and more.

I always encourage the adults in my life to research charities and causes before making a donation; using Razoo Gift Cards is a very easy way to do this.

Make it about empowerment, not about sympathy. I would not want to encourage my daughter to be sad about the people in the world that are suffering, as she is too young to understand. But I do want to empower her to help others out of a sense of goodwill and kindness, not just sympathy.

Look into charities where your child can pick out a specific item to give as a gift. I created a board on Pinterest called Gifts That Make A Difference. Nonprofits post photos of gifts that you can purchase to support their cause and a short explanation. Choosing from these photos may help a child better understand that their gift is helping someone, even far away.

Select an organization or a cause that is close to your heart. For instance, a friend of mine donates to Malta House, a shelter for pregnant and new moms that offers ongoing job training, counseling and parenting support. She explains that this relates directly to what she went through when she was a new mom, and that it will help kids like her son.

Involve your child in volunteering. One of my friends says that she brings her daughter to her Rotary Club meetings and other volunteer events, to give her a feel for meeting others and helping as a team.

I was given a $50 Razoo Giving Card this holiday. Because the tragedy has affected me so deeply, I am going to donate it to a Razoo fundraising campaign supporting the families and the community devastated by the recent shooting tragedy.

The funds will go to Newtown Youth and Family Services (a United Way Chapter), which provides activities, counseling, and support throughout the Newtown area where Sandy Hook Elementary is located.

If you are still thinking of how to involve your children in giving back this season, and if you are looking for last minute gifts, I encourage you to explore giving Razoo Gift Cards.

AND… I’m happy to say that I’m giving away a $50 Razoo Giving Card to one lucky reader!

$50 Razoo Giving Card Contest

Win A $50 Razoo Giving Card To Support Your Favorite Charity!

To enter to win, leave a comment telling me how you encourage the spirit of giving in your children or in your community.

The winner will be  notified by 5 PM EST on December 25th.

OK, now I’m really going on break until 2013! If you need me, email me at or leave a Comment below. Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday! 

photo credit: Hamed Saber via photopin cc

Comments 3

  1. Theresa Dickson

    My children help deliver baskets, food to those in need.

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