Charity Begins at Home
by Susan Beacham
Most people think the phrase “charity begins at home” means taking care of you and your family first. It does. And taking care of your family includes teaching your children the concept of charity – helping others and the experience of feeling generous – should be taught at home. When forming your lesson plan, consider these three thoughtful points:
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”―Winston Churchill
“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”―Theodore Roosevelt
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”―Maya Angelou
Teaching our children how to be charitable, by giving to others in time, talent or money, is a wonderful and long-lasting gift both for the receiver and the giver. To make the charitable experience more memorable, and thus more likely to happen again, turn the abstract concept of charity into a concrete experience. Find a cause or organization where kids can have hands-on experience.
Among the things we teach at Money Savvy Generation is to put the “do” in donate. Do what you can, not what you can’t. Charitable donations aren’t only for the mega rich. Give a pair of socks, a package of crayons, or pet food to a local animal shelter. Shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk, bring the newspaper closer to their front door, or mow their lawn.
Put screen time to good use. While wrapping presents, enlist your children to find a cause that resonates. Begin your search by reading the ConsumerReports article on charities. And before you finalize your giving, visit a charity watchdog like BBB Wise Giving Alliance,Charity Navigator or Charity Watch to help you and your family research the organization’s financial soundness.
Susan Beacham is the founder and CEO of MoneySavvy Generation, a financial education company that provides innovativeproducts and services to help parents and educators teach children the basicskills of personal finance, www.MoneySavvyGeneration.com.