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Five Ways to Encourage Children to Give Back

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Part of being a good citizen includes giving back to the community and the world at large. Here are five ways to encourage children to be charitable.

1. Start small. Rake the leaves in an elderly neighbor’s yard, take food to an ailing relative or just hold the door for someone. These deeds show your child that small acts of kindness can make a big difference.

2. Donate clothes and toys. Go through your child’s closet and toy chest and ask him which items he would like to donate, and then take him to an organization that accepts donations of clothes and toys. You can even make this a regular habit.

3. Participate in local drives. Whether it is a bake sale, canned food drive or other charitable initiative, get involved while enlisting the help of your child.

4. Build on your child’s interests. For example, if your child shows an interest in cooking, you and he can volunteer at a soup kitchen when he is old enough. If your child likes animals, you can donate gently used items, such as pet beds and grooming tools, to your local animal shelter. You should contact your local shelter first to find out what items it accepts.

5. Select a charity to support. Ask your child how she would like to change the world. Based on her answer, select a charity to support regularly. If she wants to help find a cure for cancer, you can raise money for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. If she wants to help find homes for people who do not have them, you can volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.