Compassion towards the poor and unfortunate is an essential virtue for every human being. Acts of charity not only helps the people in need, they also make you feel good! The recent natural calamities and terrorist attacks, have forced us to think more than ever about the misfortunes of those that have lost it all. It is no wonder that people are showing more willingness to spend on charity causes. Do not let this feeling of giving be a time-dependent affair. The importance of charity should be passed onto your next generation and make this world a better place.
To pass on the spirit of giving to your children you need to show them real-life examples. They should be taught the virtues of charity. They should be told tales about the unfortunate souls, whose lives could be better with a little bit of help. The most important aspect here is you as a parent have to turn into their role model. So, if you want to bring up your child with the spirit of giving then below are some tips that would help you.
Tip #1: Make Periodic Donation of Clothes
Go through your closets, from time to time, and inevitably you will come across some clothes that you hardly wear or have discarded. These same clothes could save the grace of some poor person. So, donate these clothes to a nearby charitable institution. Rope in your child for this noble purpose. Let him go through his own wardrobe and toy cupboard and select some items that could be given away in the form of charity. Many parents make the fallacy of selecting items on behalf of their children, in their absence. Such an act does not imbibe the sense of charity within them. They have to feel it and be a part of it to get that sense. Never forget to take your child along to the institution while making the donation. This way they will be able to understand the end purpose of the donation.
Tip #2: Charity in the Neighborhood
As a part of leading by example, you as a parent need to engage in many service-oriented charity projects in the neighbourhood. You can start by raking the leaves in the lawn of an elderly couple residing in the neighbourhood. Take some time off to bake cookies or a cake for the servicemen working in your neighbourhood. If there are homeless and poor people in the neighbourhood you might think of baking bread and delivering it to them. Make sure that your kid has a knowledge of what you are doing or sees you in such acts of charity.
Tip #3: Donate Blood
If there are blood donation camps happening around, make sure you participate in it. Take your kid along so that he understands this way of giving. You may also explain to him: why blood donation is such an important act. While at the camp, you may inspire him to donate some blood himself. Such firsthand lessons go a long way in building the sense of giving.
Tip #4: Celebrate a Birthday in Charitable Way
Plan for a birthday party where the theme can be “the art of giving to others”. In this party, ask all the guests to bring some of their old books and clothes. Such items would be donated to a charity organization after the party. Educate your child on why charity is so important. How the old books he gives away would help someone get educated. Also, tell him why the best way to celebrate a birthday is by giving things to people who have nothing. Later on, when you visit the charity organization ask your kid to record it and play that video again before his next birthday. This would infuse a sense of pride in him for helping others!
Tip #5: Do not forget the pets
Just like pets at your home, there are unfortunate animals dwelling in the nearby pet shelters. So, buy some dog or cat food and travel to the nearby shelter along with your child. Allow the child to make the donation and reward him by spending some time with the pets.
Tip #6: Create food baskets for the needy
Not everyone is fortunate enough to eat the right kind of food. Take suggestions from the local church and build a food basket during the festive season which includes fruits, canned goods, and other nutritious treats. Decorate the basket and deliver it (either personally or through the church) to the poor along with your family.
Tip #7: Have a Special Donation Jar
Convert an empty jar into a donation box. Ask your children to donate some money out of their allowances in this jar. Once the jar is full discuss with the child about charity donation options. You may choose to buy gloves, food, garments, books or other items for the needy people. Also, try and get inputs from your child about the organization where these donations should be made.
Tip #8: Help out the elders in need
Help the elders in the tasks they are having problems doing themselves. You may decide to clean the yard of an elderly gentleman after a windstorm or clean another elderly person’s car. Help them in planting trees or cleaning their windows, etc. Discuss the need for such tasks with your kid.
Tip #9: Take the lead
You may enroll yourself for the regular service scheduled at the nearby church and spend some time on the weekends in helping others in need. Take your child, as an assistant, on such visits.
Tip #10: Make Charity a Habit
The best way to impart the importance of charity is to stay charitable yourself around the clock. One good way of attaining this is to stack your car with various snacks and fruits which can be given away when you see a needy person. This will make the child think constantly about charity.
Standing by the needy in times of emergencies is good, but charity should be a constant endeavour. By implementing the above given tips you will allow your children to learn the art of giving. And as time passes, the charity will become a part of their character.