I have mentioned before that one of the greatest ways we can prepare our kids for the real world is to teach them to serve others with their time, talents and resources.
Serving others is about MORE than meeting practical needs; it is about LOVING in action and teaching our kids to do the same.
Let me be clear – this is an area where I have fallen short for much of my life. Living in isolation doing more and more work (which felt easy and comfortable to me), I have not always served or loved others in real, practical ways.
I am more and more convinced that this needs to change.
It is not always easy to find charities that will resonate with the hearts of our kids and teach them the value of giving to, loving and serving others.
I have listed 4 charities I believe will resonate with the hearts of our kids and get us started in teaching them to serve others.
I am so biased here, my friends. Not only was I cared for by the Pediatric Hematology unit at our local hospital when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune blood disorder, but both of my girls received treatment for low platelets in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children’s Hospital too.
I will never be able to express the fullness of my gratitude to the many nurses, doctors and volunteers who cared for our girls, but we can give back.
Most children’s hospitals provide an easy way to contribute financially and many offer opportunities to contribute by participating in events and helping to raise funds. This year, our family will be participating in the Stroll for Strong Kids. Our team is Bruisin’ Buddies because bruises are a characteristic symptom of low platelets.
There are often opportunities to donate toys, knit hats, make blankets or volunteer too.
Compassion International currently helps more than 1.5 children in 26 countries, enabling them to find freedom from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. The goal is to enable these kids to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.
What I like about Compassion International is that the organization works to help kids understand the impact their family is having on the child or children being sponsored.
Not only can kids exchange letters with the sponsored children (consider sponsoring a child the same age as yours), but they will also receive the Explorer magazine which helps them understand other cultures and the needs of kids around the world.
As your kids develop, they will gain an appreciation for all they have and hopefully, a heart to help others who are in need.
Katie Stagliano was the first Kid of Influence featured on MomsOfInfluence.com! I will let this video tell you the story:
With a cabbage seed and a dream, Katie has begun working to end hunger. This is an inspiring charity where kids, ages 9-16, can apply for a grant to start their own garden. Kids can also give their own money or raise money to give as a financial contribution.
Financial contributions can be made to Katie’s Krops in general, or by making a donation directly to one of the items on their wishlist. Sometimes kids understand their influence more when they can see that the money they raised has gone directly to purchase a hose, for example.
4. Operation Christmas Child
Each year, Operation Christmas Child works to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world.
During the third week of November, they collect thousands upon thousands of shoe boxes filled with items to be sent to children in need. I remember the joy kids had on their faces in my previous church when they went shopping to find gifts for the shoe-boxes they packed. What a neat way to teach kids about the joy of giving.
These are 4 charities I believe will resonate with the hearts of our kids as they grow. But I want to remind all of us that while charities provide us with a practical venue through which we can serve others, it is so important prepare our kids to live and love in the real world by loving them well at home first. That way, they have an overflow of love to give to others.
How are you LOVING your kids at home?
What charities resonate with your kids (I am learning here too!)?