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Giving begins with teaching in the home

November 18, 2015

When it comes to a child’s ingenuity to raise money for a cared-for cause, there seldom are limits. From lemonade stands to car washes to read-a-thons to simple asking for money, kids find ways to support things they believe in.

Teach-Children-to-be-CharitableSo at Family & Children’s Place, where children are our most important clients, gifts from children have an extra special quality to them. Every gift is precious and every nickel, dime and dollar raised helps change a life. It’s the purest form of giving – raising money – or giving away an allowance – for something for which they expect nothing back. It’s moving and meaningful.

It’s been said that a child will lead them, and children’s gifts have helped us help other children and families enduring violence, abuse and neglect move from hurting to healing. But it was the parents who first instilled generosity in these children by sharing their own appreciation for the benefits of giving.

Studies show that parental behavior has a greater impact upon a child’s behavior than religion, politics, race, household income or any of the many measured factors that affect people’s giving. For children, actions and words matter. Hearing their parents talk about the importance of giving, then seeing them give is a powerful future influencer.

There are formal ways to teach children about the power of giving, giving campaigns, for example, that allows children to secure pledges to raise money to help a preferred cause. And there are the informal ways – volunteering together, collecting clothing or toys to donate. Children mimic what they see.

Transferring your values to them through giving creates a circle of hope and help that expands so that more children and more families can break free from the despair of violence, abuse, neglect – helplessness and hopelessness.

Giving stems from the heart, but it begins in the home.