On the ever-growing list of things-to-teach-our-kids, philanthropy is definitely up there in the top handful. Philanthropy, in the Oxford Dictionary, is defined as “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous [support of] good causes.” In kid terms, that might sound like “giving back,” “sharing,” and “doing kind things for others.” Sometimes it’s hard to think of ways that kids can actively give back to their communities – there isn’t an abundance of places for kids to volunteer, and writing checks to charity is probably out of the question. In addition to gifts of time, here are three easy ways to build philanthropy into your family’s everyday lives.
Buying to Give
One of the easiest ways we can make giving back a part of our daily lives is purchasing products that we need from companies that also give back. Whether one-for-some models, profits through foundations or a number of other models, making the conscious decision to purchase from a give-back company is a great way to model philanthropic efforts. Use the products as a conversation starter and explain, even to little ones, why you’re choosing to purchase from those companies.
ALL GOOD DIAPERS
All Good diapers are good for the community and good for your baby. They’re made will all of the good and none of the bad – giving you peace of mind that you’re using a diaper that is all good. With each purchase of a box of All Good diapers, a day’s worth of diapers is donated to a family in need through a partnership with Feeding America.
Inspired by Tom’s one-for-one model, Roma makes durable and affordable rainboots that give a pair to a child in need for each pair purchased. With kid’s, men’s and women’s rain boots available, your whole family will be ready for any kind of weather while helping Roma fulfill their mission. Roma Boots are available at a variety of online retailers and via their website.
You might know the colorful Yoobi brand of school supplies from the aisles of Target – but did you know that for every item purchased, Yoobi donates a school supply item to a classroom in need? Their mission is to help level the educational playing field by ensuring all kids have the tools they need for learning and creativity. Who doesn’t love a new set of markers or fresh scissors? Yoobi is available at Target and online via the Yoobi website.
Give Back Birthday Parties
Many moms can agree that our kids have what they need, and the gifts and goodies that are generously given at birthday parties are often added to toy collections that could use a good Marie Kondo-ing. Instead of ‘getting’ for a birthday how about ‘giving’? Suggesting that guests contribute to a charity or non-profit that the birthday kid picks is a cool way for the guest of honor to make an immediate impact and is a delightful insight into their interests.
- Diapers for the Texas Diaper Bank
- Peanut butter jars for Snack Pak 4 Kids
- Books for a literacy organization or children’s home
- Canned goods for the San Antonio Food Bank
- Pet supplies for the ASPCA, SNIPSA, or San Antonio Pets Alive
- School supplies for Stuff the Bus with Communities in Schools
- Items/goods needed for a non-profit that benefits or supports something special to your child or family (ie – we’re horse crazy and might choose a horse sanctuary)
Sound like a great idea but not sure how to implement it? Add a little wording to your invitation that gives your guests the option of participating and lets them know what to bring and where the donation will benefit. Try:
- In lieu of gifts, BIRTHDAY CHILD would like to collect ITEM for ORGANIZATION.
- In lieu of gifts, please bring ITEM for ORGANIZATION.
- BIRTHDAY CHILD would like to support ORGANIZATION with ITEMS in honor of his/her birthday. In lieu of a gift s/he’d love it if you helped and brought ITEMS to donate.
Along those lines, how about hosting a party at or for a non-profit and make the birthday activity something that benefits the non-profit? A park clean-up, helping at an animal shelter, packing snacks for kids, or bagging meals/supplies for the homeless plus cake = a very productive and memorable birthday.
Organizing Collections + Drives
Don’t underestimate the enthusiasm a child can have over a collection or drive! Given the chance, kids can really blow us away with their ideas and implementation. While collections and drives (like canned food, coats, etc) are often held during the winter holiday season, your family or community can get creative at other times of the year, too! We recently donated to a Girl Scout troop doing a virtual drive for swimsuits for the Children’s Shelter via Amazon!
CREATIVE COLLECTION IDEAS
There are many amazing places in San Antonio that would be grateful to benefit from your giving back efforts and we hope that combined with your family’s interests some of these ideas will resonate and help you facilitate opportunities for philanthropy with your family.