Jacob is a typical four year old. He sees a commercial. He wants the toy featured. He goes in the toy aisle at the store. He wants this toy and that toy and oh, this one, too. He started his … Continue reading
A week or so ago I shared with you all how I was working on a campaign with Champions For Kids and how I was going to give a stocking to my blogging friend, Paula. As a boy scout leader, … Continue reading
Giving to others is very important to me and during the Holidays it seems like there are even more opportunities to do so. I try to get my children involved in the giving whenever I can. When we pass the … Continue reading
Tips courtesy of World Vision:
There is not a better time of the year than the winter holiday season to involve children and teenagers in charitable giving and teach them why the old adage, “It is better to give than to receive,” is true. World Vision offers five great ways for parents to lead by example and teach their children the true spirit of the holidays:
– Consider do-it-yourself gifts, like no-sew fleece blankets that you can make with your children. Donate those blankets to a local homeless shelter.
– Cherish the stories of your family. Have your children talk to their grandparents and write down the stories of their past. Create a book to share with the entire family or record it online.
– As a family, select a charitable organization you’d like to support. Use online tools like Charity Navigator to find an organization that you trust. Give your children a budget and encourage them to decide how your family will donate to that organization this holiday. For example, flipping through the World Vision Gift Catalog will give children an idea of the difference they can make in other people’s lives.
– Work with your children to create a coupon book for your neighbors that might need an extra hand this year. Coupons could include shoveling their sidewalk, watching their children or providing a meal.
– Bake cookies or sweets with your children and deliver them to your local nursing home or school-in-need. Get started with this list of holiday recipes.
In addition to teaching children how to give during the holidays, it is equally as important but possibly even more challenging, to show teenagers the true spirit of the holidays. World Vision Teen Engagement Expert, Michele Tvedt has several tips for parents including:
– Start with conversation. Watch the nightly news together, and take time to discuss stories that touch on people struggling with poverty, unemployment or other tragedies. Let your teen lead the discussion and listen for them to express interest or passion in a particular social issue.
– Begin to give teens a voice in family giving. Let your teen know you would like to give a charitable gift as a family to mark the holiday season, but that you’d love to let them be the final decision maker.
– Take advantage of volunteering requirements that your teen may have to fulfill at school. Offer to help your teen find an organization that fits their interest. Keep in mind that teenagers are eager for authentic, powerful experiences. They will respond best to opportunities that allow them to experience poverty firsthand.
“The holiday season can be a stressful time of year. There are gifts to purchase and wrap, cookies to bake, and family and friends to visit, but when we pause to help our neighbors in need, we all experience the holidays in a more meaningful way,” said Traci Coker, charitable giving expert and national director of World Vision’s Gift Catalog.
For each item in World Vision’s Gift Catalog, the giver makes the purchase in the name of a friend, family member or business associate. World Vision then sends special cards to those individuals, describing the gifts and their impact. Last year alone, World Vision’s Gift Catalog raised $32 million and provided assistance to more than 800,000 people worldwide. The Gift Catalog launched in 1996, and while a goat ($75) is still World Vision’s number one seller, there are many affordable items for $35 or less.
For more information on World Vision’s gift catalog you can check out my post (and be sure to enter the giveaway, too!)
(Disclosure: Post from WorldVision. I was not compensated for sharing this.)
Since National Collection Week for shoebox gifts is coming soon I’d like to brainstorm ideas on what can be put in the box. Here is a list of items I can think of:
*Flip flops *Hard candy *bouncy ball *comb *crayons *paper/coloring book *playing cards *travel sized game *book *toiletries *small stuffed animal *socks *unopened happy meal toy *play dough *small puzzle *chalk and a mini chalkboard *animal figurines *small musical instruments *finger puppets *pencil case *stickers *stamps and stamp pad
*cars *dinosaurs *trains *paper plane kits *legos *trucks *baseball cap
*lip gloss *small purse *doll *princess tiara *dress up shoes *Barbie *comb/brush set *stick on earrings *inexpensive jewelry *jacks *hair accessories
What other items can you think of?