Today's project- decorate the Giving Box.
This is the start of what has become an annual tradition around our house this time of year-filling the Giving Box. As a parent, and as a former nonprofit professional, I feel it is important to cultivate my children's philanthropic spirit and teach them about the the gift of giving back. We do this different ways throughout the year but each year before the holidays, we fill a box, called the Giving Box, with items that we would like to donate to a local shelter or charitible organization. This tradition has become a family affair and even the kids participate. Sprite still requires a little help but Sprout sorts through his toys and picks out things that he would like to donate to other children who are less fortunate than he is. At first he was less than enthusiastic about this idea; especially since sharing has been one of the harder lessons for Sprout to learn. But each year it has gotten a little easier and he has grown more generous. I love watching him pick up a toy, think about it, and then willingly put it in a box for another child. Some of his favorite toys from years past have even made it into the giving box. I love hearing him say that he doesn't need a certain toy and watch him get excited while imagining another child playing with it. This has become a special time for us and usually becomes a time of reflecting and story telling about the toys that he selects to donate. It has become a tradition that I look forward to and cherish. I'll post a picture of the Giving Box once it is finished!
Check out this article entitled Teaching Children Charity or this one on Passing on Lessons of Charitable Giving. And for a list of publications on involving children and youth in Philanthropy, click here.
Do you have any Philanthopic traditions? How do you plan to give back this time of year?