The Boys and Girls Club of America is a blessing to many families during the year, but especially during the holidays. There are so many families that struggle with finances and emotional support during the holidays and BGCA does it’s part to help those in need. They offer education and career programs, leadership training, art programs, sports and many other activities to help strengthen and support children who are struggling. We do a lot of giving during the holidays….presents to children, cookies to the neighbors and even our spare change to the bell ringers in front of the grocery store. Do your children know what it means to GIVE? I was thrilled to see the Boys & Girls Clubs of America giving back in my own neck of the woods! Employees kicked off this holiday season by helping Club families in the Atlanta area through their annual Adopt-a-Family Campaign. BGCA employees donated more than $1,200 to help five Club families in need. I live in a city that has a very big discrepancy between the haves and the have nots so I was really pleased to see what the BGCA is doing here in Atlanta.
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Every year when open enrollment rolls around my husband and I choose several charities to donate to through his employer’s payroll deduction program. That makes me feel good that we are helping charitable organizations but this isn’t something my children can see or participate in. If I want them to learn that giving should be a part of their life every day, they need something a little bit more hands on than a payroll deduction. There are a lot of ways to teach your child the importance of giving and helping others but the best way is to let them see YOU being a good role model. Here are a few suggestions from the BGCA to help your child learn the importance of giving this holiday season. You can check out their website to find out how to give your kids the gift of giving this holiday.
1. Talk about the issues that are important to you: Let your children know what issues you feel are important to support. Do you want to save the whales or protect the rainforest? Are you moved by children who don’t have enough to eat. This helps teach your children about compassion and concern for the world around them.
2. Read books together: Young children may be able to understand the message better if it is in storybook form. Find one that has lots of colorful pictures for very young children.
3. Volunteer together: This is one of the most important ways to teach your child about giving back. Let them help others in whatever way they can. Even small children can present a homemade card to nursing home residents or carry a tray of cookies to the nurses at a local children’s hospital.
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4. Let them have fun while making a difference: Kids love to bake cookies and do art projects so turn those activities into a service project! One year my son’s Boy Scout Troup brought a Christmas tree to a fire station and decorated it with homemade ornaments. There are a lot of ways to get kids to participate in charitable projects that can be lots of fun!
5. Make philanthropy a family value. The holidays are a natural fit for giving, but causes can use your support in other seasons, too. Look for opportunities throughout the year to reinforce the idea that helping others is important. Boys & Girls Club teens who are passionate about community service said it was critical to hear this message repeatedly from the adults in their lives
This year marks the 2nd annual Boys and Girls Club of America’s Give the Gift of a Great Future Holiday Campaign. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is teaching kids that giving back is extremely important. This holiday season, try some of their tips that I listed above to help your kids learn the value of giving, too. How can you and your child get involved with giving this holiday? Why not play the BGCA free Giving Game to easily donate a gift to a Club this season. You can also head over and vote in the Kids Give Back photo contest.
As parents, we want to give our kids everything, especially during the holidays. But does the true meaning of the season get lost in all of the chaos?
Check out the BGCA website and learn how you can give your child the gift of giving.
Disclaimer: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.