Teaching my children the idea of giving back and how they can put it into practice is so important to me. For my Little Miss who is only 1, this is a concept that she cannot yet grasp, but with my 5 year old, I can easily start to expose him to opportunities where he can give and feel good doing so. The Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) is built on the strong tradition of teaching kids to give back. This Christmas is no different for BGCA as this year marks the 2nd annual BCGA Give the Gift of a Great Future Holiday Campaign.
The Boys and Girls Club of America have created 3 easy ways that we can all get involved in giving back. The best part is even if money is tight for you this year, they offer suggestions for volunteering and even a Giving Game that you can play – your prize for playing (and winning!) this simple game is a donation to a Club Kid! Cool, eh? My win scored a Club Kid an art kit.
Another way you can take part in the campaign is with a simple click on Facebook. Club kids have given 1 million + hours of community service in 2012. Head over to the Boys and Girls Club of America Facebook page to vote for the club with the best service project. You have until December 19th to help one Club receive a $2500 grant from BCGA.
If you are looking for more ideas to help your children slow down these holiday seasons and start giving instead of just receiving, BGCA have also made a handy list of tips for teaching your child the true value of giving. You can check out the Give Your Kids the Gift of Giving list here. They are all great tips, but some of my favorites that I feel are doable today and with very little effort are:
- Do something fun, like cooking or an art project. Even very young children can make cards for senior center residents or help you bake a tasty treat for a neighbor. These are perfect ways to have fun while thinking about others.
- Tell family stories about philanthropy. Talk about times when your family has helped someone in need, or times when your family has received help.
- Make philanthropy a family value. The holidays are a natural fit for giving, but causes can use your support in other seasons, too. Look for opportunities throughout the year to reinforce the idea that helping others is important. Boys & Girls Club teens who are passionate about community service said it was critical to hear this message repeatedly from the adults in their lives.
- Read books about giving. Try The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen, I Can Make a Difference by Julie and Amanda Sexson or a selection from Learning to Give’s Annotated Bibliography of Children’s Literature.
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.