In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny talks about teaching her daughter to help give back to less fortunate children.
Along with holiday-related stress, the onset of the holiday season always brings thoughts of those less fortunate than ourselves. This year we decided our 5-year-old is old enough to understand the plight of the needy, in the simplest terms of course, and to join the family in giving back to the community through support of a charity.
For the past couple of years we’ve encouraged her to go through her toy collection and fill a bin with items that are still in good condition which she no longer wants or plays with, to donate to Goodwill. (As a bonus, this helps us to clear some space in our house for the new gifts Santa is bound to bring!)
This year, we started giving her a small allowance, and with a little help with the math she determined how much to set aside each week for spending, saving, and “sharing” or charity. This week we took the total “sharing” amount to the local toy store and she chose a new, unwrapped toy to give to a toy drive that the store supports.
She really seemed to enjoy the experience of picking out a toy for another child, and to understand for the first time the value of giving and helping others. Now we’re wondering how we can expand on this next year!
How do you encourage your kids to give back to the community during the holidays? At what age do you think it’s appropriate for them to volunteer their time as well as their cash?