Kids Helping Others
Involve Children in Charitable Giving
The holiday season brings feelings of goodwill and raises our awareness of others’ needs. This time of year provides many opportunities to teach children about charitable giving.
Share a book
Through Books for Africa, children who like to read can share their love of books with kids in African nations who don’t have enough reading material. Ask your kids to gather gently used books they no longer read — and raise funds to help with overseas shipping — then ship them to the organization’s warehouse in Atlanta, GA, from which the reading materials head to Africa.
Fight childhood cancer
When wintry weather makes setting up outdoor lemonade stands unreasonable, children can still raise funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), an organization based in Bala Cynwyd, PA, that funds research to cure childhood cancers. Elisabeth Browning, the ALSF’s communications manager, suggests alternate fundraising ideas such as a hot cider stand or a bake sale during an indoor event. Children also can collect coins in lemonade stand-shaped boxes provided by the foundation.
For children interested in the environment, Kids Saving the Rainforest offers several sponsorship levels for fundraisers:
• $40 plants a pair of trees in the rainforest.
• $75 rescues a small mammal or bird.
• $120 maintains a monkey bridge in the treetops.
Children can collect funds independently, or teachers can end a unit of study on the rainforest with a fundraising event and let students choose how to distribute their funds among the available sponsorship options.
At the Southern Branch of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, kids can help fight hunger in their local communities. Evelyn Benton, executive director of the branch, welcomes kids ages 12+ to volunteer to sort and box food items and stock food bank shelves. One Saturday per month, children as young as 8 can bring an adult and join in the same tasks while forklifts and other heavy equipment lie dormant for their safety. At any time, kids can hold food or monetary fundraisers to benefit the food bank.
Help shelter animals
The animal lover in your household can support the mission of the Delaware Humane Association in Wilmington,DE. Greg Munson, director of development and major gifts, suggests the following kid-friendly volunteer opportunities: spend time socializing with the animals (with adult supervision), collect items from the organization’s wish list or assist at special events. Children can hold their birthday parties in the association’s new community room and ask guests to bring gifts to be donated to the association, rather than receiving personal gifts.
Choose a charity that interests your child and experience the joys of charitable giving together this holiday season.