Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Teaching about Charity and Gratitute

I've talked about having an attitude of gratitude before.  This is one of the best times of year to teach that.

One of my most successful activities with kids has been "The Giving Jar". 

I took an ornament from a local giving tree and shared it with the children.  It was for a 13 year old girl who wanted art supplies for Christmas.  The kids decided that they wanted to help me buy her some items.  They asked if I had a box or jar where we could collect the money.

We started "The Giving Jar".  We talked each day about helping people and discussed ways to do that.  We talked about how we should be grateful for all of the wonderful things we have that most kids don't. (These were some pretty poor kids.)  And we discussed how if we work together, even a little gesture can become something big and wonderful.  The kids asked their parents if they could do odd jobs around the house for change.  We had about 25 kids at the time and in a few days we had over $200 dollars.  They decided we needed another ornament and so I picked up two more of kids who wanted books and a coat.  It was amazing to see kids come in with the entire contents of their piggy banks and all of their saved up birthday money.  I went out and bought items in my usual money saving style and we got each of those three kids an amazing Christmas with much more than they had asked for.  The kids also included pictures, notes of encouragement and I saw a couple sneak money in!  I love those kids.

Give kids the opportunity to be charitable, and they will.