Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Gift of Generosity Winner: 25 Ways to Share and Pay it Forward

Just before the holidays hit in full swing for our family, I spoke openly about our family's slightly disorganized but nevertheless genuine and effective approach to teaching our kids generosity.

I also offered one winner a $50 Razoo Gift of Giving card for the charity of choice (generously donated by Razoo). I used to identify (randomly and fairly) the winner, and it is....Candace!

Congratulations, Candace.

Candace writes for Naturally Educational, and she shared these tips for teaching generosity in the comments:

I recently posted a list of 25 ways to give with young children. Pretty much any volunteering or giving I do at this point involves my children...because almost everything I do involves my children *LOL*. 
Every year we...sing/play piano at a home for the elderly, donate toys / stuff stockings, help feed people who are homeless on Thanksgiving, make Valentines for Veterans. Recently we have also, had a beach clean-up with our Daisy troop, organized a food drive and adopted a family affected by the Hurricane with our Daisy troop. 
Later in the year, the girls will make no-sew blankets and dog biscuits for shelter pets.
We also read books about giving and talk about generosity of spirit, like saying something positive, thinking before you speak (is it true, necessary, and kind?), having gratitude, etc.
She recently wrote this great post, "25 Ways to Volunteer with Young Children for #GivingTuesday."

I loved this list -- it is hard to find ways to include kids in actual volunteering. For safety reasons, most charities cannot include children. But this had great ideas of things kids can and will happily do. I can personally vouch for making ornaments for nursing homes, donating toys, and donate books. I do want to try the "birthday in a box" idea.

I really appreciated the other great ideas from

Kim, who suggested creating a family charitable effort (dogs in her family's case) based on a shared family love.
Nicole B, who shared how her family lets her son help choose where donation dollars go.
Teri, who shared how her family gathers around mission trips and community outreach on building and disaster relief.
Maggie, who also has a family get-together to choose which charity to donate to.
Ellen, who takes her caring and sharing to her neighbors, via cookies and singing.

All are such lovely and loving ideas, and I am sure they do bring good models and habits to kids.

Thanks everyone!

So what did we do? We took Maggie's suggestion of the UN Foundation's Nothing but Nets and split our donation between that and Humane Society. Our family also loves animals, as is evidenced by the photo of the gorgeous rescue cat who adopted our family (up at top).

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