Teaching your children the importance of charity is one of the most valuable lessons they can learn. The power of giving not only helps them to discover causes they care about but also how giving can help others. Understanding the meaning of charity is also an excellent way for children to learn about the value of money and how even the smallest of amounts can make a big difference. Here’s how to explain the importance of charity to kids.
What importance do charities have
Charity is important. Not only can giving money to others help change people’s lives for the better, but it can also help change the world. It means charities are the primary way we can help people who are less fortunate than us and support causes we believe in, such as the environment and endangered species.
Why teaching your child about giving back is important
1. Valuable money lessons
Donating even a small amount of money to charity shows children that they can help others and make a difference in the world. It is also a useful lesson about appreciating what they have and the differences between needs and wants.
2. Learn about compassion and empathy
Getting into the habit of regularly giving, can help your child develop a sense of purpose, compassion and empathy for others, and get them involved in issues they feel passionate about.
3. Connects kids with their community
Giving back is also an excellent opportunity to show children the importance of charity in the community and supporting those around us.
4. Strengthens their personal values
Giving to charity strengthens a child’s personal values as it helps them to see they have the power to help make a difference in the world.
5. Giving can help identify interests and passions
All children feel passionate about some area of life. It might be animals, the ocean, climate or something more political. Encouraging them to give to charity, helps them to identify these passions.
6. They are the next generation
Giving to charity also helps children to develop a sense of awareness and personal responsibility for their future.
7. Helps those less fortunate
A huge part of giving to charity is understanding that there are people out there who are less fortunate than us. Charities help those who need all the things we take for granted.
8. Helps communities become more sustainable
Charities also help communities in developing countries to focus on environmental and economic sustainability so that damage to the environment is minimised.
9. Helps to reduce poverty
In developing countries, charities help to reduce poverty by improving sanitation and healthcare, and providing humanitarian support in the wake of natural disasters.
10. Brings attention to serious issues
Charities also campaign to highlight awareness on issues society doesn’t focus on like, human rights violations, problems arising from war and conflict and poverty.
11. Can encourage those around you to do the same
Charity has a knock on effect. Giving to a good cause can persuade others around you to give too.
12. It can make us feel good
If you feel your child’s donation won’t make a difference, think again. individual donors continue to be the main support of charitable giving, representing 80% of all donations! Something to feel good about.
How to teach your child to give back
Teaching your child to give back involves more than just taking a bag of unwanted toys to the local charity shop. Here are eight tips for teaching your kids how to give back.
1. Explain what donating means
Use everyday examples of giving and donating that your kids can relate to. For instance, that time they helped your elderly neighbour bring in the shopping. Point out that these little acts of kindness are examples of donating their time to help others. You can then use this to build on and explain other ways they can donate, such as donating through the Giving feature on the GoHenry app.
2. Help your child understand why it's needed
For children to want to help others, they need to understand why help is needed in the first place. This means talking to your kids about why you donate warm blankets to a homeless shelter during winter or why you take food items over to the local food bank. The idea of homelessness or food poverty may still be an abstract concept for many young children. You'll need to explain it in simple terms and then build on their understanding as they get older.
3. Lead by example and donate as a family
The best way for children to learn about giving is by seeing it first-hand. Take them with you when you take unwanted clothes to the local charity shop or put money into charity boxes. Ask them to pick out a few cans of food when you're in the supermarket to put aside for the food bank or bring them with you when you participate in fundraising events. While it sets a good example, it also gives you an opportunity to chat about the importance and rewards of giving.
4. Volunteer with your child
Volunteering with your child to help a local charity is a good way to give back to the community and an important way of getting your kids on board with the concept of giving. Plenty of charity and community organisations would appreciate an extra pair of hands, whether helping at a fundraising event, serving food at a homeless shelter, or volunteering in a charity shop.
5. Show them the impact
Kids are more likely to respond well to giving if they understand the impact of their giving. Identify some recently completed community projects and take your child along to show them what can happen when people donate their time, money and resources. If you regularly donate to a local animal shelter, take your child to the shelter and ask the staff to show you what they do with their donations and how it helps the animals in their care.
6. Encourage your children to choose a charity
Ask your kids to pick a charity that your family can donate to, whether by volunteering your time or giving money or items. Suggest a few charities to your child, explaining what they do, and let them pick one that matters to them. They are more likely to want to give up their time if it's for a cause they've chosen and know about.
7. Explain what can be donated
Do some research into what can be donated to your chosen charity. If your child has chosen a charity shop to donate to, find out what they will accept and let the rest of the family know. Most charity shops will accept clothing and household items that are clean and in good condition.
How to help your children understand the importance of charity
It’s not always easy to get your children to understand the importance of giving and the work charities do. What can help is to point out local and global charities that help benefit everyone and use films and books to inspire them.
- Think about the charities that work on preserving green spaces like woodland and wetlands, which they can enjoy playing in.
- Consider the charities that work to stop species like rhinos, gorillas and tigers from becoming extinct.
- Charities that work to feed and help some of the children they go to school with.
- Charities that raise money to help find a cure from serious illnesses like cancer.
- Picture books like Just Help! How to Build a Better World, which asks the question, ‘Who will you help today?’
- The Lorax (Netflix) which helps educate children about the environment and how we can't just take and give nothing in return.
- Up (Disney) which teaches empathy for people different from ourselves, and that no one is ever too young (or too old) to help someone else.
- Pay It Forwards (Amazon Prime) A young boy develops a plan to pay each good deed forward with each act of kindness going on to inspire another.
How can GoHenry help you teach your child about the importance of charity and donating
To help children become responsible givers they need to learn how to manage their own money. Topping up their GoHenry prepaid kids' debit card with their pocket money means they can practise making choices around giving, saving and spending. Children can use their GoHenry app to check their balance, recent transactions and donate.
Using the app's giving feature, kids and teenagers have already donated a combined total of over £200,000 to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). The app can also be used to access Money Missions, where there are a wealth of financial resources that cover everything from borrowing, and investing to giving.