There is nothing kinder than teaching your kids to help others. In our family, that means volunteering and giving back to the community. But when do you start teaching your kids how to do that? My husband and I started a long time ago, when our kids were tiny, so that they would understand that giving back is an important part of life.
I tell my kids often about how I grew up very poor, and the time times that other’s giving back had personally affected me. I can vividly remember going to a Christmas Party at church when I was a little girl and getting a few small gifts. and my Mom leaving with a big box. I also remember telling my Mom that Santa has the same wrapping paper that our Church friends have. I also remember my Mom crying as she sorted the food in the box. Remembering that changed the way I lived my life.
In our family we volunteer at our local animal shelter, as well as make monthly donation to the food bank. You don’t have to have a lot of money to give back. We live on a very tight budget, but I manage to coupon and make sure that I can get a few things to donate each week. My daughter and I are also both anti-bullying activist and mental health advocates. We use our time to help others.
Different people are able to donate in different ways. In Philadelphia, there was a March Madness event hosted by Zarwin Baum law firm for local business executives that raised an impressive $300,000 since 2010 to benefit local charities. This year, they were supporting Philiabundance- a local emergency food relief organization hat provides fresh food and produce to the needy.
When I shared this with my kids, they said that they’d NEVER be able to raise that kind of money for anything, which is where a great lesson comes in. You don’t have to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you can, great, and it’s amazing what the people at Zarwin Baum have been able to do. But it’s just as valuable to show up at the food pantry and volunteer, or do as we do, and coupon and buy four $.50 cans of soup to donate. Sitting next to someone who is sitting alone at lunch could be more valuable than the meal they are eating, to a lonely person.
I reminded my daughter of the time when she held a lemonade stand when she was 8 years old to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. She was only 8, and was able to raise a decent amount of money to donate. Equally important is the anti-bullying work and mental health awareness work that she does. It’s the not the amount of money that you donate, but the heart you put into it.
Zarwin Baum does an incredible job in raising money and helping the needy in their area. I think it’s a fabulous way for a company to inspire others to give back. I also am proud of all the young people doing whatever they can to make a difference in whatever ways they can. We, as parents, need to teach them that lesson. If everyone would do what they can to help, the world would be a much better place.