Teaching your kids about giving

As a Christian there are some pretty clear things God tells us to do.  One of those is to care for those who are less fortunate than us, and being in the United States that makes us pretty much better off than the vast majority of the world.  I want my kids to grow up understanding because of the many gifts God has given us we should be generous as well.  This is not some version of “White Man’s burden,” but an acknowledgement of where I am in comparison to others.

 

All that to say we look for ways our kids can contribute, but most volunteer places want your kids to be at least five before you can bring them anywhere.  So, we get a lot of our opportunities through our church, and this time it was Children’s Hunger Fund.  Our job was to fill up a box with food to be delivered to a family who is in need.  And this wasn’t the usual fill up the box with stuff you don’t want from your pantry, but a very specific set of food.

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So, we went to the grocery store and happily perused the aisles looking for our bags of beans, pasta, spaghetti sauce and the like.  I was really amused at the list of items.  They’re not things you necessarily want to eat all the time, but if you were eating off this list you would get the basic nutrients you need.  It just wouldn’t be as much variety as you might prefer.  I’d say this box would give a family of 4 enough meals for dinner for 3 days for sure, maybe 4 if you measured portions.  It’s hard to tell because we’re so used to the huge unhealthy portions.

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Then we carefully went through and packed up all the boxes with their required ingredients.  The boys really loved doing this.  We just had to encourage them to be careful with the jars of spaghetti sauce, which I found out after we’d packed all the boxes were supposed to be cans.  And here I thought I was doing good buying this nice jar of sauce.  Oops.

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One very carefully packed box.  I think it has almost all of the required stuff.  As you can see it’s a lot of staple foods, beans, rice, pasta.  And ones that if you pack them all just right will fit exactly into the box.  There was no room left over after all of the stuff had been added.

 

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And poor Princess was all tuckered out from our busy schedule and she slept through most of it.

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9 thoughts on “Teaching your kids about giving

  1. Way to go, Mom! You are teaching your children valuable lessons. My kids love going to the nursing home to comfort those who get no visitors. They come back with a new look at the world. That is just what you are giving your children- a new look at the world.
    -Phyllis

  2. I like that in your program the food was specific and limited to a box. I think it makes it more real for young kids. We did food drives before, but I don't think they were very “real” for Anna, at least not when she was 3. The best charity lesson so far was personally bringing her “baby toys” and clothes to Goodwill truck.

  3. This is SO wonderful! I used to think America was great because it was multicultural (not super power). Now, I think it's great because there are so many people who give from their heart. It also shows that God's spirit is alive in many people's lives. Thanks for sharing and I'm going to look into that organization.

  4. Charity and giving are so important to learn. Selena knows as did my other kids, that we give to those less fortunate. We give our used toys and clothes to Goodwill or other organizations to help those less fortunate. If we hear of a family in our community in need or hurting we find out what they need and we give to that need.
    I am not saying our kids need to be need themselves to learn this lesson, but what really brought this lesson home to my older kids was when we went through the fire storm, and people generously gave to them, from that point on they fully understood why we give to others.

  5. It is so great that you do this with your children. It is SO hard for kids to grasp the concept of people being less fortunate, but teaching them to be charitable is important. We donate used toys, clothes, and books to goodwill and we sponsor a child in Africa. I like to have the kids write letters or draw pictures for the child we sponsor. As they get older, I hope to do more volunteer projects with them to allow them to experience the good feelings that come with helping others.

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