Present Now Shares Tips to Get Kids Involved in Holiday Giving
This is a guest post by K. Pearson Brown
The holidays are a time children enjoy receiving presents, but it is also a wonderful time for children to experience the joy of giving to others, according to the co-founders of the Los Angeles-based gift-giving charity Present Now, an organization that serves disadvantaged children living in domestic violence shelters.
Both mothers of three children, Present Now founders Erica Fisher and Melanie Neumann applied their professional and personal backgrounds to launch Present Now in 2012, and by example they hope to impart the rewards of giving to their own children.
“The holiday season is a great opportunity to teach children life-long lessons about charity, generosity and volunteerism,” says Erica Fisher, co-founder of Present Now, who herself gained an early education about charity in her childhood by following the Jewish tradition of Tzedakah, whereby she and her family gave support t those who were less fortunate.
Present Now’s co-founder Melanie Neumann also has been a longtime volunteer leader and contributor to non-profit organizations, and she dedicated her career as a professional fundraiser and event planner to dedicate helping organizations that give back to the community.
“My children see that I am passionate about giving and making a difference, and it has made them want to volunteer and do what they can for others too,” says Neumann. “They often help out when we deliver gifts at the shelters for the children, and it is something they enjoy doing and ask if they can do it again.”
Fisher and Neumann offer these tips for getting children involved in charitable giving.
- When children are as young as four or five years old begin talking to them about how we all need to take care of others, especially those less fortunate.
- Around age five or six, ask children to help gather up unused toys to donate to children in need. Explain that they their donations will bring joy to other children.
- Ask your children’s preschool and elementary school about their charitable programs. See how you and your family can help. If they do not have a dedicated charity, work with other parent and the school to choose a charity and get the families involved.
- Choose a charity or several charities that your family will support.
- Select a charity that your children can relate to, such as one that benefits your local community or serves other children.
- Volunteer with your children at a local charity, serving food, stuffing envelopes, sorting supplies, or whatever is needed.
- Make giving of your time and money a constant part of your family life, and involve your children. Let children place the envelope in collection at church, ask for their help finding items around the house to donate, let them pick out a new toy for a toy drive donation, bring them along when you drop off donations, etc.
According to Fisher and Neumann, if parents share the fulfilling experience of giving with their children early in life, children will themselves look for ways to give back and make a difference, to make the world a better place for everyone.
Note: For those who wish to get involved or learn more about Present Now, the charity is registering now for its annual fundraising women’s getaway in Palm Springs, a luxurious weekend January 23-24, 2016, at the Riviera Palm Springs, featuring a trunk show with designer goods, silent auction, a cocktail reception, music, entertainment, yoga and Pilates. Got to www.presentnow.org for more information.
Disclosure: Pearson Brown serves as a public relations consultant to Present Now.
K. Pearson Brown is owner of PBPR Communications and a freelance writer and contributor to L.A. Parent, CBS OnTopic, WIRED Insights, Examiner, Out with Mommy, QuickStartGuide, and many other blogs, and she can be heard as a commentator on KPCC-FM in Los Angeles.
Photo captions: Children volunteers of Present Now help deliver gifts to a local shelter.