Learning to Give as an Essential Part of Education
Getting an education isn't just about learning your ABC's and 123's. It's about being able to take that information and applying it, not only to benefit yourself, but to benefit others. There will never be a time when people don't need other people in order to survive in this world. Whether you are recommending a friend for a job position, pointing someone in the right direction, or a perfect stranger is helping you push your stalled car to the side of the road. Life is about giving and receiving. Whether I am the one in need of help or the person standing next to me is, I am always reminded of the Golden Rule, and I ask myself, "If that were me, how would I want someone to respond to my need?" It's a question that I believe is important for us to teach our kids to ask themselves when they see someone in need. Helping our kids find ways to give back to their world community is something we can teach them at any age and it's fun! Seeing someone smile because you've been a vessel for fulfilling a need is one of the best feelings you can get.
Most organizations may only allow teens 16 years or older to participate in volunteer work, but there are 100's of other ways our young children can give back. When looking at creating a curriculum for Chase that would help him develop the necessary habits to become a whole person, I decided that 'Feed Your Soul' was a necessary piece of that curriculum. It was something that I wanted to ensure would be a habit he never lost site of. I also wanted to expose him to many organizations and causes, so that he could see how there are all types of needs that people and animals have. We are never without an opportunity to help. Most people take time during the holidays to participate in a fundraiser, hand out food to those in need, or buy gifts for low income families to put under their tree, but what about the rest of the year? One of the ways in which I've taught Chase to give back each month is by taking any allowance or money that was gifted to him that month and use his math skills to calculate out 10%. That 10% he can give to help anyone out that he chooses. The only requirement is that he has to give the 10% away. There are many other ways that your child can give back. Here are a few ideas for 'Feed Your Soul', but I would love to hear from parents about how they are encouraging their children to give back, as well as organizations who are in need.