Like last year we are making #GivingTuesday a family affair by not only donating clothes, toys, books, and household items, but by also donating to four charities in honor of each family member. This year our family took our annual tradition a step further and decided to not only talk about the charities, but also empowered our 6-year old to give money from her very own Give Jar.
A few months ago my husband set up 3 jars- Save-Spend-Give- for our older daughter so that she could begin thinking about managing her own money. As the research indicates, it’s important to help kids build money management skills so they can “learn patience, delayed gratification and the value of self-control.” Interestingly one study which tracked the same group of children from birth to the age of 32 found that the “lack of self-control” as children were “more predictive of money problems” as adults than “social class or IQ.” It’s worth noting that creating the jars was super simple. We got some basic mason jars and our daughter wrote out the labels herself. She’s collected some cash in each of the jars over the past few months, and we will soon be starting a weekly allowance so she can be more methodical about the process.
Choosing Our Causes
In keeping with our #GivingTuesday family tradition, we picked charities based on our personal interests. In many ways talking about these causes is more important for our family than the actual step of donating. Another fascinating study found that kids “were 18% more likely to donate money to a charitable organization if their parents had made any donation of their own in the past year. But if a parent had made a donation AND talked with their child about giving, that kid was 33% more likely to donate- an increase of 15 percentage points.”
Here are the causes we picked:
- My older daughter said she wanted to do something with art. She also loves to dance. Together we chose the organization CoachArt because the organization was started in honor of our friend’s father and is focused on helping kids with chronic illnesses through arts and sports.
- My younger daughter said she wanted to do something with horses, so together we picked a local charity called Xenephon Therapeutic Riding Center, which harnesses the therapeutic benefits of horse riding for disabled children.
- My husband wanted to pick something that helps empower women. He chose the Malala Fund which is dedicated to “a world where every girl can learn and lead without fear.”
- I picked #CharityWater, like last year, as I believe they have such a powerful mission of “bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.” It blows me away that 663 million people don’t have access to clean water, which is 1 in 10 people worldwide. This cause is one I hope to give to regularly.
Donating $10.76 + more to our causes
Our 6-year old got really into the idea of being able to use her own money to give to a cause she picked. With the help of her father, she counted the money in her Give Jar which amounted to $10.76. Afterwards we watched a video about CoachArt and made her donation online. Admittedly she was a bit confused by the fact that she gave her parents the actual Give Jar cash and we in turn paid by credit card. But we gave it our best attempt to explain the whole system and know that she’ll grasp the credit card concept more as she gets older- probably more than we’ll want her to at the time. Lol. 😉
As for our 3-year old…we told her how horsies can help kids, showed her pictures of the Xenephon Riding Center before making her donation online. We also set up the Save-Spend-Give jars for our itty-bitty so she could also start conceptualizing the ideas. While she may not fully grok our #GivingTuesday tradition just yet, it’s never too early to begin the discussions.