Every day the news of the world are broadcasted into our living room and oftentimes the stories we hear are disturbing — to us, but even more so to our children.
How to help our kids cope with news of war, famine and disasters is a question most parents ask themselves at some point. Heather Young, mom of 7-year old Clement, first faced this challenge last summer when she and her son were listening to the news on a car ride to school.
“They were talking on the radio about how all these people in Africa are dying of Ebola and Clement started screaming ‘turn it off’. He was clearly very upset,” Heather says. “I love listening to the radio when I’m driving, but of course I don’t want to upset him, so we started to think about how we can make this better for him.”
The solution presented itself in form of a fundraiser. Heather suggested to Clement to raise money for Ebola relief and Clement “loved the idea.” Together they sent out letters and emails to friends and family to drum up support in form of small donations.
“My granny helped me and my mom’s friends,” says Clement, adding proudly that he and his mom ended up raising $280 for Ebola relief within three month.
“All the time people were mentioning that thousands of people were sick, but when we started to get the donations to buy supplies and stuff for sick people, it wasn’t so bad anymore.”
For Heather, Clement’s first foray into charitable giving goes far beyond the amount of money raised. Having personally witnessed the effects of poverty on a visit to India, it’s important to her to instil values like social responsibility and kindness in her son, she says.
“Clement would keep asking ‘What does a hundred dollars do? How is it helping?’ So, I think through this experience he really understood that you don’t have to be a passive observer, that you can actually contribute to this world and that’s just incredible.”
Clement’s fundraiser shows that you can have a charitable impact, no matter what age. Be inspired by some of the other “kids-powered” initiatives on Chimp and learn more about how to introduce charity to your family.
11-year-old Quinn Smith-Windsor was born with cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t stopped her from walking for charity. Last summer, she walked 80,000 steps to raise money for clean water in Africa.
Play Better, is a kids’ sport program that fuses charity with the goal of playing better. Teams raise money for any cause by reaching certain developmental goals — and parents and coaches donate as a reward.
Kids and Charity
Introducing charitable values to your families is not without its challenges. Three BC moms talk about how they succeeded in explaining charity to their kids — and making charitable giving a part of their family life.