Summer School: a lesson in generosity

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One more lesson

This month, we have been looking at how giving generously out of our resources is not an action reserved for adults. Daily, we see examples of youth stepping out in faith and living out their generosity. Yet, it is important for us to engage with them about this topic and why it’s important. As CEO Darren Pries-Klassen said in his blog post Lessons for (or is that from?) a New Generation’, “It is still up to us ‘old folks’ to model generosity well.”

Amidst the dog days of summer, with smells of bug spray and sunscreen in the air, autumn is just a distant hum blending in with the cicadas. Yet, commercials and store signage boldly declare that back-to-school is around the corner. New binders, pens, and notebooks beckon. All too soon, summer will be a distant memory.

Many students are excited to return to school. They look forward to choosing new pencils and binders, wondering what teacher will I get? What should I wear? Which friends will I see?  Before jumping back into busy fall schedules, there’s one more lesson you can pass on to the kids in your life.

Kids Supporting Kids

There are many ways you can help your kids get involved with helping others or a charity. In this week’s blog, we’re sharing some fun ideas for you to consider.

It has been estimated that as many as one in three Canadian children will start school without adequate supplies. Packing a back-to-school backpack for someone in need is a great way for kids to exercise their giving muscles and pick up a few life skills along the way. Here are three ideas to get you started:

  1. Give your children a budget for their charity backpack, a copy of the recommended school supply list, and let them make the decisions.
  2. This also a good opportunity to talk about giving our best. Encourage them to choose items they would feel good taking to school. For kids in need, having durable school supplies that will last is very important.
  3. Buy in bulk! For those givers thinking ahead, school supplies can be stored relatively easily and can be used again at Christmas.
  4. Extend the quality time. This activity is something you can do with your family, a group of friends, or through a local organization. When the backpacks are complete, make a trip together to drop them off at the designated location.

Lessons Learned

Kids from preschoolers through high school seniors will benefit from a practical lesson in generosity. Putting the children in charge of their own backpack project goes beyond the lesson of giving to others. This exercise also demonstrates trust, fosters independence, and promotes financial literacy by challenging them to shop within a budget.

You might find you have taught the students in your life some valuable lessons before they ever set foot back in the classroom.

It is up to us to model generosity to the young people in our life. The hazy lazy days of summer provide time for connection. Whether you have someone to pass your lessons of generosity on to or not. Before re-entering the fray of autumn, consider how you can make a difference this summer.

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