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The Gift of Giving: Establishing humanitarian, compassion, and kindness in our children.


 “Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others”. Barbara Bush

I was on the phone the other day with a girlfriend, we were chatting about the holidays when she told me the COOLEST most INSPIRING thing she was doing with her kids. I loved it!!! It got me thinking and just had to share this with you all.

My friend has two children, ones of them is three and the other is seven, both a very different energy each with different interests. Her seven year old is really into nature, animals, and the environment with a special interest in the rain forest. The three year olds loves animal and other children. Knowing this about her kids she went on line and found organizations charities, groups or a place that they could give and be of service. From what she found she made different folders. She decorated the outside of each and on the inside it explained what they could do to make a difference. For Christmas each child got to pick one folder. Her daughter the seven years old picked the rainforest (she found somewhere that they could buy a tree and have it planted in the rainforest) and her son picked an animal rescue (They went to a pet store and stocked up on food, toys, beds, leashes, collars and treats and took it together to the pet rescue)

I just thought this was so awesome!!! What a great way to teach her children about giving to the world and helping others! I shared this with a few friends and was totally blown away by how many people had a story about what they were doing to help make a difference.

 One mother every year has her two sons clean out their closets and get rid of everything that they aren’t using, then they all go to either an orphanage, homeless or a woman’s shelter and give to those in need.

 My brother took three of his children to a homeless shelter where they all volunteered that night to serve and feed the homeless thanksgiving dinner.

 Another friend takes her children to the animal shelter once a month and they volunteer to walk and play with the dogs.

I just spent the weekend with a woman who volunteers with her dog and her two young grandchildren providing companionship for the elderly at an old age home.

Today a client was taking her kids to a toy store and having them each pick out a few toys for Christmas for the sick children and will later take them to the hospital to hand them out.  

Last week while driving I saw a lemonade stand that said, “help feed the starving children “ (there was a big picture of a starving African child ) The kids learned at school that week about the starving children in Africa and wanted to do something to help . Needless to say … I bought a lot of lemonade that day  ;-)

There are so many ways to help people less fortunate then our selves and so many ways to help make a difference in the world. You can’t help but feel good when you are helping making a difference in someone’s life. When we can teach our children the value of being of service it sets the foundation for a lifetime of giving and compassion. Your children will also learn to grateful for all that they do have.  

Children are visual, they need to see and feel how what they are doing is making a difference.

 So For this holiday season what creative way can teach your children about being of service?

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. – James M Barrie

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.  – Albert Schweitzer

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