Kids and Giving
When finances are tight, as they are for so many families, donating money to charity is likely very low on your list of priorities. But take heart: Donating money is just one way to give back to your community. Giving of your time can be just as helpful and even more fulfilling than giving cash. If you do have some wiggle room in your budget, though, consider these advantages to giving.
Advantages of Giving:
1. Promotes a healthy lifestyle. Why? Giving to others in need is a positive choice rather than a negative choice.1 Giving helps young people empathize and care about others while staying away from negative behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or smoking.1
2. Teaches life skills. The life skills you and your child will learn through giving include responsibility,1 reliability,1 good grooming,1 getting along with others,1 and punctuality.1
3. Improves the community. Giving improves the community. Volunteering is an ideal way for kids to be productive, active members of a community.1 Kids feel valued.1 They feel like they can contribute, and the community benefits since kids and adults are helping out to make it better.1
4. Encourages lifelong giving. Giving also promotes lifelong giving.1 According to research, adults decide whether to volunteer based on the experiences they had with volunteering and helping when they were children between the ages of 5 and 12.2 If your kids start volunteering and helping others now they will be more like to continue when they become teenagers and adults.2
Why Kids Give
We’ve just shared a few good reasons for you and your children to give back to the community—but we bet your kids aren’t aware of these reasons.
So why do kids give and volunteer? Researchers have found that kids who give and volunteer do so for a cause that’s important to them.3 They feel compassionate toward people in need,3 and they believe that if they help others, then others will help them.3
1. Gabina Torres, “The Future of Volunteering: Children Under the Age of 14 as Volunteers,” Serviceleader.org., December 2003.
2. Peter Benson and Eugene Roehlkepartain, Beyond Leaf Raking: Learning to Serve/Serving to Learn (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1993).
3. Virginia A. Hodgkinson and Murray S. Weitzman, Volunteering and Giving among Teenagers 12 to 17 Years of Age: Findings from a National Survey (Washington, D.C.: Independent Sector, 1997).
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