One day a year to give to the causes you care about most

Check out this passionate post by our friend Kelly Garman on teaching children to give back. We love the message!

Raising A Generation Of Givers

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In a world where personal pleasure and instant gratification are the norm – and expected – the greatest thing we can teach our children is how to give. I truly believe that. In fact, I couldn’t get to my computer fast enough this morning; I felt so compelled to process this thought with you.

We live in a world where many feel entitled to “the good life,” whatever that might mean to them. We want happiness, success, the right clothes, car and career.

And yet, many don’t live “that good life.”  We have disease, poverty, a weak job market, and sometimes down-right bad luck.

It’s awful.

But what if we raised our children to look beyond their own little world? What if we taught them to supplement their personal desires with the desire to use their resources to help others (in both small and large ways)? Might we then shift culture in a dramatic way? Might this next generation be the one to cure cancer, eradicate homelessness and crawl out from under the shell of a rather selfish society?

When I raised money for Feed My Starving Children while training for a marathon, my kids took part in the effort. We saved our change together. We passed out soup can labels together. We talked about where in the world the food we were buying for children less fortunate would end up. We looked at maps and talked about different countries.

When I heard of grandparents who took emergency custody of their three grandchildren, whose ages were very close to that of my kids, I cleaned out our toy closet. I talked with my kids about giving to others. My kids helped choose what toys and clothes we were going to pass along to this new family in need.

I sponsor a child through Compassion International. I’ve encouraged my son to write letters to the boy in Brazil. My son and I have talked about what his life might be like and again, have gone to the map to learn more and open our eyes to that outside of California.

There are many ways to give. And giving is one of the most rewarding things in life. Whether you donate food to a pantry during the holidays, save your change to help build a well in Africa, help someone like Brady orChris reach their personal goal, or hand off your used baby items to a mother in need, just don’t forget that the next generation is watching.

Together, we can teach them to be givers.

This post is part of a blog series inspired by World Give Day and hosted by GiveForward.  To find other posts in this series please visit http://www.worldgiveday.com/ or follow us on twitter @worldgiveday.

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