This post is written by Ellen Gray, product coordinator for Graco. Thanks, Ellen!
“Build a strong foundation and the building can withstand any storm.”
“It’s the little things in life we do that matter the most.”
These are two common phrases in our household. They are also what Jim and I use as core principals to raising John, (age 9) and Katie (age 7). Our goal was to make “giving” a part of their everyday lives. In a world of plenty, many children (and adults, too) can easily become self-absorbed and unaware of the fact that life is not necessarily like that for everyone.
We have always tried to teach them it doesn’t have to take a lot of money or time to say thank you, or to spread kindness to others who may not have what they have.
We started out by baking cookies for people to say thank you. A simple gesture that made people happy. The children were thrilled to see how people reacted to something seemingly so small. They wanted to give cookies to everyone – everyday!!!
As they got older, I started to include them in some of the holiday activities my husband and I participate in, like donating food and gifts. This year, their school did a food drive – so off we went to buy food. Each of the kids made their selections and I purchased extras for our Church food pantry.
Imagine my surprise when I checked our pantry to pack the food for our Church pantry and all the food was gone! They had decided, on their own, that the collection boxes at school weren’t full enough and they wanted to make sure there was enough food for everyone!!
Having said all that, it didn’t really hit them until we recently volunteered at a food pantry. As much as they have always given – neither was prepared. Katie just couldn’t comprehend that someone couldn’t afford a box of Mac-n-Cheese. John couldn’t imagine that everyone didn’t have Toilet Paper (“Doesn’t every bathroom have TP!?!” he asked).
We thought we lived a life of “giving back”, but we had never put a face to it. When they saw the people starting line up they were shocked at the amount of families waiting and to see how many children stood in line.
As we continue the journey of raising our two little ones we are always in search of new ideas – new ways to incorporate giving and thinking of others in our lives.
Here are some other ideas on ways to give back with your kids:
- Ask your kids to set aside a certain amount of their allowance and let them choose an organization to donate the money to. Explain to them how the money will help someone else.
- Lead by example: Pick up litter, hold the door open for someone, or offer to help someone who looks lost.
- Bring your child along to spend time with someone who might be lonely this holiday season. Explain to them why their company is important to that person.
- Check out www.volunteermatch.org – this Web site allows you to do an advanced search based on your interests and location, and you can also find opportunities that are good for kids and teens.
We hope one day they will pass it along to their children – it doesn’t take a lot to give a lot!
How do you teach your kids how to give back?
Today’s Graco Get One Give One is a set of Nursery and Care items to help keep your baby clean and healthy! The gift includes LiteUps™ Clippers and Tweezers to help you see her tiny nails or splinters more closely, a 5-Second Thermometer to check if she has a fever quickly, and a NasalClear® Battery Operating Nasal Aspirator – a safe way to help clear your baby’s blocked nasal passages.
Comment below on who you would donate this product to, and you could win one for you and for them! For more info on the Graco Get One Give One program, click here!
Today’s contest ends at 4 PM – check back daily for additional chances to win and donate.
**COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED. PLEASE RETURN TO THE BLOG TOMORROW TO ENTER IN THE REMAINING 2 DAYS OF GET ONE, GIVE ONE! ALL COMMENTS CLOSE AT 4PM EST DAILY**
**UPDATE: Congratulations to JORDAN BARRAZA – You’re our winner!! We will e-mail you to get your address and send you your prize! Thanks for playing everyone – Check back tomorrow to see what our next GOGO product is going to be!**