How do you teach your children generosity, kindness, and compassion? I believe, to teach my children to be givers I’ve got to live out that example. My father was the greatest giver I’ve ever known, he never sat me down and said, “Kasey this is how you give, or this is what giving looks like.” Instead, I watched his life. I saw him taking groceries to people in need; I was in the car, when he stopped on the side of the road to help an elderly lady who had fallen while she was walking home. I saw my mom and dad fill up their trunk with wrapped Christmas gifts to take to a family less fortunate than ours. As a result, I see how important it is to live out his legacy with my children. Not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but all year long.
What does that look like in my family? We purposefully by items that are cheap or free when we go to the grocery store to put in our giving box. When our box is full, we go together to donate the item’s we’ve been collecting. We are intentional at birthday’s and other special times of the year to teach our children to clean out their toys to make sure that we are in the habit of giving to others and not collecting too much “stuff.” We participate every time we have an opportunity to give at our church, or through sports organizations. Last year, the town I live in was devastated by tornadoes, my children took their own money and bought toys to donate to children who had lost everything in the storms.
We also sponsor a child, through Operation Compassion named Tinsel. Tinsel lives in Ethiopia, my children write her letters and color pictures for her. We receive letters from Tinsel several times a year as well updating us on what is going on in her life. We talk about the conditions that Tinsel lives in, and how different it would be to grow up in Ethiopia. It’s become a very real way for them to grasp in their minds how blessed they are.
Every year at Christmas we pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We go shopping together, and talk about what this box will mean for the child that receives it. We always pack at least two boxes, one for a little girl about the same age as my daughter, and another for a little boy close to my son’s age. I love sitting back and watching them carefully pick out items for their shoe box or ask questions like,” Mommy, do you think she loves Hello Kitty like me”? As they participate, the children that we are buying for become real in their hearts and mind not just a concept. This year as we were shopping my daughter stopped me and said, “Mommy, I know that getting a gift is cool, but it feels so much better to give. I love it”! Wow – so proud of my baby girl!
What about you? How do you teach your children about generosity, kindness, and compassion?
This week is National Collection week for Operation Christmas Child, a nonprofit that distributes millions of shoe boxes for children in need. I’d love for you to join in! I’ve included the directions below for how to pack a box. Gifts are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
- Click here for details about how to pack a shoe box.
- Click here to find the closest drop-off location during you and drop off your box during OCC’s National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19, 2012.
This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.
BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.