Teaching your children about charity and giving to those in need

My oldest daughter is almost seven years old and I want to begin teaching her about giving back.  We already do it in small ways- with her outgrown clothes, or toys she doesn’t play with anymore (or has too many of).  Of course some things get passed down to her sisters but others we choose to donate.  When I’m packing things up she always asks now, “Are these going to other kids?”.

It’s important to me that all my kids know they are a part of something bigger and that it’s always good to help others.  Members Unite is a website where the members all contribute to, as little as $5/month, and then choose which charity to donate the collective funds to.  There’s also a small $25 annual membership fee (just over $2/mo.) which goes to cover operating expenses.  (keep reading to the end of the post though for a special discount for my readers)

members unite

They choose nine diverse projects for the members to vote and discuss which ones they want to see funded for that month.  Each week it continues to get narrowed down based on member ratings and voting until the final project is chosen at the end of the month.

The nine different projects to choose from this month ranged from passing out 1,000 balloons in Central Park to planting 5,000 trees in Brazil.  I went through each project with my seven year old and explained them each simply so she could understand them, telling her how each project would help others.

My daughter was instantly drawn to the ones that involved kids… it was something she could relate to.  So out of nine she narrowed it down to two:

  • Give Infants a Lease on Life- providing 20 infants in Guatemala with milk for 500 days – over a year’s worth of sustenance.

More than half of Guatemalan children younger than age 5 don’t get the food they need–the highest malnutrition statistics in Latin America and among the highest rates in the world.

  • Take Education on the Road- funding tutors for 30 homeless children in Los Angeles for a year.

Around 1.6 million children are homeless in the United States—that’s 1 out of every 50 children—and in California, families with young children make up 40% of the homeless population.

picking our fave project

It made me so very proud of my daughter for thinking of other kids and wanting to help them.  She said she wanted the babies to have the food they needed to grow and she wanted the kids to be able to learn just like her even though they couldn’t go to school.

Now that we have our favorite two, we can follow along week by week (and continue to vote) to hopefully get one of the projects funded.  You can get in on voting and helping those in need yourself by joining Members Unite.  Make it a family discussion and vote on the projects together.

>> For a limited time, Members Unite is offering my community a 50% off discount on the annual membership fee of $25! Use code WELOVEMOMS when you sign up!

If you sign up please let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear which project you hope gets funded!

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  1. Megan says:

    Cool idea – the site seems like a good way to get kids aware and engaged with needs beyond their own immediate communities – particularly for those fortunate enough to live in places where those local toy and clothing donations are headed elsewhere, I think this would help to tie it all together for kids.

  2. Rebecca Parsons says:

    I enjoy the concept. My kids are a little older now and have been helping me take donations to our local shelters. They have had some friends that needed help and we took a heater to them and some food. I know it made them feel good to help.

  3. Carrie Phelps says:

    I can’t agree with you more. My grandson did his first money raising walk for our local animal shelter at 3 yrs. old & fully understood why we were doing it.

  4. Donna George says:

    I too teach my kids about giving back. Last night we served dinner at the local homeless shelter, not as a special holiday giving, but as a part of our day-to-day life. We do this once as month as part of a church ministry and it was our turn to serve. No St. Patty’s Day party, but that’s okay since we had a great time!

  5. Lyly T. says:

    This is such a great concept that I wish more kids would learn. I often see kids whose needs are taken care of here (food/clothing/shelter/access to school) and they aren’t aware that other kids don’t have the same privileges that they do. Thanks for a wonderful post on this topic.

  6. crystal smith says:

    We started this concept when my girls were very young in Girl Scouts. And we keep up with it now by donating for food banks, etc. Great for families to participate in this together!

  7. Jennifer Hiles says:

    My step daughter is a bordline hoarder, lol but when we tell her we are giving the extra toys to charity she is all about cleaning up. I also think it’s important to teach them at a young age and hope that it sticks for life.

  8. Carolyn A Colley (Griffith, Smith) says:

    I always tried to teach my children that it was better to give than to receive. I think that I did a pretty good job of that.

  9. Rust says:

    A good friend who is a child and family therapist tells me that getting your kids involved in giving back and working with the community and less advantaged is one of the most powerful and healthy things we can do for our children as parents …it serves to instill values, self-esteem, self-worth, pride, belonging, etc.

  10. Julie Wood says:

    I think that this is so good to teach our children when they are young to give back! We need to teach children at a young age to care about others! We as parents need to focus not on spoiling our children, and raising selfish children, but to teach them to care about the people around them and to give to others!

  11. scottsgal says:

    my HS junior does community service – he gets so much out of it and it makes him feel good like he’s contributing and giving back

  12. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    Teaching kids to give, to recognize and understand other people is so important. I think it is too easy to stay in our own little worlds and forget that the way we live, think, believe is not the only way the world works.

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