Doing Good Together March 2007 Newsletter

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Doing Good Together Newsletter )

Helping strengthen kids and communities through family volunteerism...
March 2007
in this issue
  • Get into the "giving box" groove
  • Have a conversation about how and where to donate
  • How Much Should You Give?
  • One Family's Story
  • News From DGT

  • We’ve all given to a charity, but think about it: Typically those checks get written at our desk, out of view of our children or grandchildren. This month, begin a conversation with these children about the value of sharing part of our good fortune with others – no matter how much or how little your family has to donate. Teaching children about giving makes them rich with compassion and a sense of community responsibility, and begins a thread of generosity and kindness that can extend for generations.

    Jenny Friedman, Executive Director

    Get into the "giving box" groove
    Giving Box

    Make a Difference... Begin a family tradition of giving by designing your own “giving box” to collect your family’s charitable donations. Use an empty shoebox or coffee can, decorate it, make a slit in the top, and place it on your kitchen counter or living room mantel.

    Photo: A traditional giving box

    Have a conversation about how and where to donate

    Talk About It ... ... Discuss how your family will use the “giving box” to begin a habit of generosity

  • When will you place money in your giving box? One family we know feeds the box each time something wonderful happens to them, as a way of spreading the joy. Others put in loose change. Or each family member can give up one luxury (your morning latte?) each week and donate the money to the box instead. Maybe you all decide to simply donate a portion of your “allowance” each week.
  • Decide together where to donate the money. If children are young, just provide a few choices and take a vote. Older children can help research charities that support their interests and passions.
  • When the box is full, count the money and have your children help write the check.
  • Talk about how the recipients might feel and the difference your donation will make.
  • Learn About It ... For more ideas on how to involve your family in charitable giving, read Susan Crites Price’s The Giving Family: Raising Our Children to Help Others. Crites offers a variety of ways to foster philanthropy in children. Other books on giving and serving for children and adults are listed on our website under Resources.

    How Much Should You Give?

  • What's the average? The average American gives about 3.1% of their income (before taxes) to charity, an increase from previous years but still well below the traditional 10% "tithe" for charity recommended by religious institutions.
  • Who gives the most? The people who give the most actually make the least. Households earning under $10,000 a year – far below the poverty line – gave 5.2% of their income to charity. That's a larger percentage of their money than any other income group.
  • What's the bottom line? The average household donates $1,620 each year. That's just $3 a day.
  • You make the difference: Did you know that if you count up all the money charities receive, 75% of it comes from individuals? If we all give our fair share, no one will go hungry and no child will grow up in poverty.
  • Sound idealistic? Everything depends on how we spend our money.


    One Family's Story
    Courtney  and D’Anne  Briggs

    “For our family it’s always been important to look at those who are in need and do what we can to help,” says D’Anne Briggs, a mother of four children, ages 6 to 12. “It’s just something that we weave into our lives.”

    Briggs and her 12-year-old daughter, Courtney, did just that last month when they traveled to Santa Ana, El Salvador, to visit an orphanage with 431 children sponsored by a national nonprofit organization, Friends of the Orphans, where Briggs is a board member. They took supplies they’d collected to donate – including underwear, socks and enough books to start a small library – and spent their days playing with the children, learning about the culture and traditions of El Salvador and planning future mission trips for the organization

    Read Full Story

    Photo: Courtney and D’Anne Briggs

    News From DGT

    If you know a civic group or service organization that is interested in finding out more about family service and Doing Good Together, please let us know. We offer a presentation that highlights the multiple benefits of family volunteering and the tools Doing Good Together has developed to encourage families to serve others. Contact us to learn more.

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