You are here:

Philanthropy: Gift Your Children with a Sense of Gratitude By Latasha Schraeder

Halloween is in the books. We are looking toward Thanksgiving and Christmas! With the holidays approaching, take advantage of this time to teach life lessons. Use the month of November to have conversations with your family about philanthropic opportunities and considering those who are less fortunate.

Customarily, our children are excited about the tradition of gift giving. During this time, wish lists are created and the anticipation of waking up to gifts under the tree Christmas morning begins to build. What a festive time it is! While many memories are made this time of year, it is important we teach our youth to think of others.

During the fall and winter months, many opportunities exist to pay it forward. Some examples include volunteering at the Salvation Army, making a donation to Coats for Kids, visiting residents at nursing homes, and visiting patients at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Decide which opportunity is a good fit for your family.

Volunteerism during the early years is a valuable experience. Your children will recognize how fortunate they are compared to some in the Peoria area. Also, adolescence will set the stage for future philanthropic efforts and gives your children a chance to feel a sense of accomplishment.

While academics are an important part of our students’ lives, social and emotional health is also significant. Teaching our youth to consider how their actions affects others is a key life lesson. Prioritizing time to give back to one’s community allows one to experience a sense of belonging and a sense of worth.

Community outreach also creates the possibility of forming relationships with those we otherwise would not have an opportunity to know. For example, there are senior citizens living in local facilities who have families who live out-of-town or do not have the opportunity to visit often. Your child has the potential to fill that void. Perhaps, monthly visits could be arranged with someone you meet while you are volunteering. Keep an open mind. Be creative! As we enter the final months of the year, I wish you and your family a fruitful season of gratitude and selflessness.

Be your child’s fiercest advocate.