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9/11, Cancer, charity: water, Doctors Without Borders, Education, Haiti, Street Tails

Teach Your Kids About Charity

Last week, I launched this website dedicated to raising money for some of my favorite charities on my birthday.

The very first person to donate was my friend’s five-year-old daughter. She was also one of the first to ask if she could help donate toys to the kids in Haiti went I volunteered in Port-au-Prince last autumn. She was FOUR then!

This preschool student is already spending more time thinking about people who need help than those who are 5 and 10 times her age.

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with her and with her mom who is raising a sweet and generous daughter who thinks about others in her community and around the world.

This is something any of you can do with your kids. I made a point of choosing organizations that do great work, where most of the money is spent on the ground to do that work and places that aren’t wrapped up in politics. There are a variety of types of work being done…healthcare, research, education, animal rescue. The causes are as far away as Africa and as close as across town.

Sit down with your kids and talk about the good that can be done. Some child friendly talking points for each organization:

Doctors Without Borders – Your child might be seeing information about the Horn of Africa famine on the news. These are the doctors who are helping sick kids feel better. They provide much needed fluids for dehydration and medicine for illnesses that develop when people live in unsanitary conditions with little food.

Street Tails – This organization is based in Philadelphia and cares for pets that need medical treatment before they can find a new home. Kids might especially appreciate the story of super pup Gordon now being able to run after surgery that allowed him to straighten his legs. Tell them to imagine having to scuttle around in a crouch with their knees bent all day. How long could they walk? How far could they reach?

Donor’s Choose – As we head back to school, this is a great organization to discuss with kids. Talk about the things that make their classrooms great. The posters their teacher hangs up. The special lesson plans that make learning fun. Imagine if a school couldn’t afford those posters. Imagine if they had one book for the class to share. What if their school was hit by a tornado and needed to rebuild?

Charity : Water – Talk to your children about how you get water. How easy it is for us to turn on a tap or walk to the refrigerator to get a drink? What if they had to walk to the grocery store for it and carry it back? What if they had to walk to the next town? What things would they have to miss out on during the time spent walking?

National Brain Tumor Society – Sometimes people develop sick cells inside their head. This foundation is learning about what makes them sick and how to make them better.

J/P HRO – Some kids might remember the earthquake from last year. Even if they don’t, you can explain that some kids aren’t lucky enough to have a house. This group gives them a spot where they can stay until a better house can be built for them. Imagine living in a tent with your whole family and all your possessions. How would you do your homework without lights? What other challenges might they face?

Let your child pick the organization they want to donate some of their allowance toward. Even $1 can go a long way if we get a lot of people donating. Or give a few dollars to each group that resonates with your child.

Send me a quick note on the Facebook page if your child donates. I will make sure they get a very special thank you.

There will be a lot of 9/11 anniversary specials in the next month. This is a chance to show your kid that most people are good, and they can be part of something special, helping a lot of others along the way.



3 thoughts on “Teach Your Kids About Charity

  1. You have a wonderful mission…to teach children charity. Everyone will be better for it.

    Posted by 5kidswdisabilities | August 10, 2011, 1:40 am
    • Thanks so much! Most kids I know are excited to find a way to donate to those who are less fortunate. We just need to show them how they can help.

      Posted by TakeBackMyBirthday | August 10, 2011, 2:06 am
  2. This is a great post! You’ve done a nice job choosing a range of charities so that everyone can find something to support–and solid performers that do good work.

    I’m in the midst of writing a book about giving & volunteering, with special sections about giving and volunteering with kids. I would love to use your friend’s five-year-old as an inspirational story. Would you pass along my offer to see if she’s interested?

    She can submit the story online at:

    or email me at givingbackbook on gmail

    Thanks, and happy birthday!

    -Steve Ketchpel

    Posted by Steven Ketchpel (author of "Giving Back") | August 10, 2011, 4:10 am

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