What Example Are We Setting For Our Kids?

A recent study found that parents play a significant role in influencing their children when it comes to supporting charitable causes.

Children of parents who do not support a nonprofit are only 25% likely to grow up to be a donor, while parents involved in nonprofits increase their children’s odds of becoming a donor more than 80%.

This begs the question, what kind of example do we want to set for our kids? What habits and beliefs are we instilling in them? Most of us agree that raising responsible and caring citizens is important, especially with the growing rate of need in our communities.

Now you don’t have to be a board member of a charity to teach your kids about generosity and responding to need. I remember what a strong impact my parents left on me when they faithfully put a check into the church offering plate each Sunday and gave me a dollar or few coins so that I could contribute as well.

In a post titled, “Early Lessons in Generosity,” CBS Moneywatch’s ‘Bank of Dad’ blog offers some broad but practical suggestions about how parents can teach kids about philanthropy, such as bringing them with you next time you donate your family’s used items to a Salvation Army Family Thrift Store.

And with the holidays just around the corner, there will be plenty of opportunities for adults to involve kids in giving. How about letting them drop some money into a Salvation Army Red Kettle or pick out a toy for our Angel Tree program for a child in need?

If we want to ensure that the next generation understands the importance of giving, the best way is to make giving a family affair.

For information on programs and services offered by The Salvation Army, or for ideas about how you and your family can be involved, visit our website at www.salvationarmyusa.org.