I care deeply about education and the important role that it plays in children’s lives. As a father, I aim to be an exemplary role model and teacher for my children. There are many ways you can model, and even encourage, charitable behavior to teach your children to be selfless. This can help build their self-esteem, teach them the importance of community activism, and give them a greater appreciation for the things they currently have in their lives.
Below are a few ideas about how you — and your children — can get involved in philanthropies.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand
The Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is dedicated to raising funds for research, treatment, and cures for children battling cancer. Alexandra “Alex” Scott, the four-year-old founder of the foundation, had childhood cancer herself. At such a young age, she was on a mission to find cures for all children battling cancer by selling lemonade at a stand in her front yard. Although she passed away at eight-years-old, she raised more than $1 million to help find a cure for childhood cancer.
You can encourage your children to become active volunteers with Alex’s Lemonade Stand. They can collect spare change, donate a portion of their allowance, sell handmade bracelets in the foundation’s colors, or host a lemonade stand at a local baseball game or fair. It’s also important to educate your children about childhood cancer. “Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand,” written and illustrated to highlight the true story of Alex, is an excellent way to educate your children about the importance and awareness of childhood cancer.
Donate Hair to Those Who Need the Confidence
Do you remember when Thomas Moore, a fifth-grader from Maryland, didn’t cut his hair for two years just so he could donate it to cancer survivors who lost their hair from chemotherapy? Children like Thomas can grow out their hair to donate to individuals who have lost their hair to severe burns or diseases like cancer or alopecia. There are a handful of organizations that take donated hair and turn them into wigs — Locks of Love, Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and Wigs for Kids are just a few examples.
“We are told again and again that the most cherished items in the packages are the personal letters of appreciation,” says the Operation Gratitude website. Your children can brighten the spirits of deployed troops, recruits, and veterans by sending a handmade card or letter. They can use colorful construction paper, markers, and stickers to add pizazz to their cards. While your children are busy crafting one of these cards, you can educate them about the importance of these men and women serving our country and inspire them to express thanks for their service, dedication and sacrifice.
This post was inspired by 6 Secrets for Cultivating Charity at Home from the University of Texas at Austin.