6 Ways to Engage Children in Giving Right Now

1. Donate

Photo by Markus Spiske
Photo by Markus Spiske

We all know it is easy to accumulate a ton of “stuff” especially as your family grows. While selling items is accessible and easy (Kijiji, Craig’s List) consider donating things like clothing, toys and small household items instead. This is a great way to show even small children that giving items away to people who are less fortunate and need them is a great way to be helpful. Allow your child to pick their own items to give away (kids get VERY possessive over their things) and take them with you to drop items off at your charity of choice. This way they can learn there are organizations that do this and work hard to help people in need.

2. Engage with your community

Photo by Oshomah Abubakar
Photo by Oshomah Abubakar

Being of service to your community is a wonderful and easy way to model giving. Look for opportunities in daycares, schools, spiritual centres, community sports teams, parks, gardens and local arts. Not only do kids learn that giving back to people and places they spend their time is important, it makes them feel like their community is an extension of their world. When they see these people and places as an integral part of their lives, they are thinking outside the insular walls of the family that they know and love. They are becoming little global citizens.

3. Fundraise

Photo by Brooke Lark
Photo by Brooke Lark

With the birth of programs like Echoage, it is easier than ever to turn a birthday party into a fundraiser. Many parents see the value in asking kids to make a donation to a specific charity in lieu of a gift as a way to give back. While this may seem admirable, it is really important that the kids are on board and get to choose the charity that resonates with them. Talk to your kids about it and if you can, take it one step further by having them send the donation themselves so they connect with the charity. For kids who want to receive birthday presents, some other ideas are a car wash on the street, an old-school lemonade stand or bake sale (get kids to be involved in making these items) or an organized baseball game where parents and kids can buy in to play. The ideas are endless! You can also go to fundraisers that are geared to children and families like Rethink’s Boobyball Mini😉

4. Food Drives

Photo by Markus Spiske
Photo by Markus Spiske

There is a strong emphasis on food donation around the winter holidays through schools, grocery stores and religious centres. Building food baskets around the holidays and selecting canned goods for food drives is an easy way to help. However, people are in need of food 365 days a year and doing it in the off-season may have a greater impact. Lack of food for some kids is a really difficult concept to wrap their heads around so it is an opportunity to talk about some of the socio-economic injustices in our society. Yes, you heard that right and here is a great list to help you with that.

5. Allowance for charity


In Judaism, the concept of tzedakah (charity) is introduced very early to children through sharing. The tradition of giving tzedakah is deeply rooted in the idea of making sure that all of the world’s resources (food, water, clothing, education, shelter) are shared justly. It is not uncommon for families to actively donate a percentage of their income to a charity of choice and involve children in this process. If you do donate annually, let your kids know where and why. This may inspire them to use some of their own allowance to contribute or as a family you may decide on a change jar which is filled with loose change regularly and donated.

6. Modelling acts of kindness

Photo by Annie Spratt
Photo by Annie Spratt

This might be numero uno when it comes to teaching kids about giving. Don’t underestimate the importance of modelling acts of kindness for your kids. If you are going to visit a friend or relative who is sick, take your kids with you if appropriate. The same goes for visiting someone who has just experienced a loss. We often want to shelter our kids from uncomfortable and emotional situations, but these are the times we are often demonstrating compassion. Take your children with you so they see you as a model for giving and talk to them about why you chose to reach out to someone in their time of need.

To buy your tickets to Boobyball mini click HERE.

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Faith: A Rethink Profile
50 Carroll Street Toronto, Ontario Canada M4M 3G3
Phone: 416 220 0700
Registered Charity #: 892176116RR0001

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