My daughter, Charli, is three years old and is blessed with good clothes and toys. She has family members that are eager to buy her new clothes and toys that make her ecstatic. We started donating Charli’s toys when she was one. The truth is, we didn’t have this strong mission to donate but I realized that I needed to make room for new toys. It was at that moment that I realized how her unused toys could make another family happy. It must feel awful as a parent to know that your child can not have toys because that is not a necessity. It really opened my eyes to how easy it is to take a stuff animal for granted. I couldn’t handle the crocodile tears as Charli cried “that is my favorite toy!” each time I would grab something to donate, so for the first two years, we donated the toys in secret. Now at age three, we explained that we are donating her things to a family. I explained to her that there was a kid out there that needed her clothes that didn’t fit and her doll that she didn’t play with. She likes the idea of making another kid happy, which also teaches her to share. It is a slow process, but she is getting better and better with donating her things. I believe this is the first step in donating but giving your time is just as important. For example, we have a neighbor that doesn’t get out much. Charli and I will walk over and spend time with him when we see he is outside. He really enjoys the company and loves her hugs. This is teaching Charli to care for others and taking the time to do something nice. You don’t have to have a ton of money to donate but it is important to teach them about empathy and wanting to help anyway they can. Below is a wonderful article that shows nine ways to teach your children about charity.
Article from parents.com: http://www.parents.com/parenting/money/donate-to-charity/9-ways-to-teach-your-child-about-charity-/