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Collecting for a Cause

The start of the school year is the perfect time to establish or re-establish a habit of charitable giving. Here is a re-post from September 2010 to get you started! My family gave the change collected as a result of this post to a local food shelf. And then we let this habit lapse. Lately the kids have been hoarding change for their own amusement at the dollar store. I'm thinking it is time to repeat this activity!

This week in our effort to become a more giving family, we've started collecting our spare change for charity.

At 5 and just under 3, my girls aren't exactly money savvy. Still, they do have a stash of money in their piggy bank. When they raided those piggy banks to help our family become giraffe sponsors at the local zoo, I knew it was time to start saving for a cause.

Doing Good Together is a great resource for Charitable Giving. The girls and I spent an easy hour together decorating clean jars from the recycling bin. I cut the coin slot out of the lids while the girls went wild with markers and stickers.

We talked while we crafted about money. I learned that this is an intangible subject for them right now. To help them understand, we talked about all of the needs we have as a family: groceries, our house, water, electricity, and clothes. We talked about how these things cost money. We talked about earning money at a job. And how many people can't make enough money to pay for all of their needs.

I'm not sure how much sunk in, but they were certainly eager to start collecting for a cause.

Since their piggy banks were drained by our giraffe sponsorship, I contributed some from my own change jar. Seed money I told them.

Miss Kindergarten protested. "I don't want to buy seeds! I want to help the kids who don't have the things they need."

We had quite the conversation that day!

We have decided to wait until the jars are full before we make a donation anywhere. At that point, we'll find the right charity. For now, when they find wayward change around our house, they stash it in their jars. Their dad and I make contributions of our own. Thankfully, the jars are small, so they'll get the reward of giving soon.

Has your family made donations together? How have your kids responded?