Giving Back With Your Children

We are always gearing to give our children experiences that can help them understand what the world really is like. We give them instrument lessons to teach them dedication to a craft, sports to bring unity and skill sets as working as a team and clubs so they learn a new trade. However, we have to teach our children about life. Not everyone is as a lucky as our children. There are many walks in life and the most courageous lesson a child can learn is empathy and humility.

It takes a special kind of parent to teach their children that there are causes that are bigger than ourselves. When you have an empathetic child, you have a child who is wealthier than any big business person.

This month, we asked our Blogger of the Year Momma Braga to participate in an important interview.  This month, #TalkwithMommaBraga, we talk about giving back with your children.

Over the least year, Momma Braga was given a set of interview questions to answer. We did put her on the hot seat a number of times and she always answered with grace and class. This is our final month with Blogger of the Year Momma Braga answering questions and we just want to thank her for always being candid with our magazine. But this will not be the last of Momma Braga! We have a big announcement to give our audience at the end of December.

Charity is important to Momma Braga, her family and her little daughter Nikki. We sat down with Momma Braga to talk about charity, its importance to her family and how she gives back with her entire family. This is a great tool to learn how you too as a family can give back and truly make a difference in your communities, countries and our world.

How important is charity to you?

Charity has always been important to me since I was a child as I loved to give. That love for charity grew to a passion and that was why I wanted to enter the social services field and then into fundraising. Even after leaving that line of work, charity has meant a lot to me. I feel that it is important to give back to the community in any way that we can. My favorite quote on giving is by Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

What kind of charity have you worked with in the past?

Outside of my working experiences with charities, I have worked with a few other organizations where I would donate, volunteer or fundraiser for.

The Canadian Liver Foundation is one of my favorite charities and we have a personal connection to it. When my husband was diagnosed with Wilsons Disease we learned a lot from this organization and decided to donate to them on a yearly base. This donation transformed to a monthly donation (these donations don’t have to be much a month) as we learned that our donation helped them discover the gene that carries Wilsons Disease so of course we were thrilled with this advancement. I also did a campaign to raise money for the charity by setting up an online giving page through them. I raised over $1,000 by asking family and friends to support. The year after the online campaign, I volunteered with their Gala Committee to help fundraise for one of their big fundraising events.

Animal Shelters is another type of charity that I have a deep personal connection as our late cat was adopted from a shelter and we got involved in the charity by participating in their fundraising events and I also did online campaigns to raise money for the cause. When our cat passed away, I did another online campaign in her memory to help other animals like her. I also volunteered my time and became the chair of their committee on their annual walk-a-thon bringing in over $14,000 to help the animals in their care.

Something that I have done at my own family events is made a donation to an organization in lieu of thank you gifts to my guests. This was important for me to do as I feel that the money I donated would help others so much more.

I have also supported friends and family who fundraise for causes near to their hearts such as the CIBC Run for the Cure, Movember, Sick Kids, WWF CN Tower Climb, United Way, etc. Each year I designate some “fundraising” money this way I stay in budget and still be able to help a little.

Why is it important to explain giving back to your community to your children?

Our children need to be able to empathize and understand the world in a caring way. The first step is to teach them to be giving. But I want to stress that giving does not mean just monetary giving. Giving is so much more than just money. Its compassion turned into passion. Giving is being kind, sharing, and volunteering your time.

If we do little things to help one another, the community would be a much better place. This is what my heart tells me as I really do hope to see more good in the world.

At what age should parents introduce the concept of ‘giving back?’

For me personally, I started the concept of giving right from the very start. The first year we donated toys to the toy drive on behalf of our daughter and documented it to show her as she grows. I want her to see how she has been giving back since she was a little baby. As each year goes by and as she starts understanding so much more, we will have more conversations on giving. Nikki is three years old now and it blows my mind on how much she already understands.

We will be starting to do things together as a family in giving back. You will have to stay tuned to Momma Braga to hear what we do!

What kind of charitable acts can teens, children and toddlers do so they start helping their communities early? What are some great charitable things families can do together?

I love this question and thank you Baby Spot for bringing this important topic to light! There are lots of charitable acts that everyone can do and the beauty of it is that it can become a great family activity.

Here are my top seven tips:

  1. Donate gently used clothes and toys
    We personally do this one already as Nikki like many children grow out of their clothes and toys so quickly. When this happens we go through it all and give them to a family in need. If you don’t know a family to give to, then there might be a local shelter that could use it.
  2. Volunteer
    This is a great way to give and it does not require money but only time. Think of causes that are close to your family’s heart and volunteer. It could be at a food bank, toy drive, animal shelter, etc. The options can be endless.
  3. Involve your child in the decision-making on a cause
    Let your child tell you what they care about and what they are passionate about. It gives them more pride and drive in giving to something they really care about. If they love animals for example, they may want to support an animal organization or shelter.
  4. Help a neighbor or someone elderly
    This could be as simple as baking them some cookies as you see they are lonely or helping them shovel the snow. The simple acts are the ones that mean the most.
  5. Create a ‘donate’ jar for change
    Throughout the year you can put your spare change in this jar and at the end of the year, you can count what you have and donate it to a cause that the whole family cares about.
  6. Have a ‘Charity’ Birthday
    There are many ways of doing a Charity Birthday party but the concept is that a portion of the proceeds or presents will go to your child’s charity of choice. A great example of an online services that does this is called ECHOage.com.
  7. Be a role model
    Our children are like mirrors or reflections of us. When we lead by example, they will follow and then in turn they will become their own giving leaders.

These are some of my tips on how to get any child at any age to start learning about giving back. Of course see what interests your child and family to see what activity would work best for YOU! Believe me, at the end of the day we can all feel great about doing something to help another person. It’s a win-win for everyone and makes our community a better place.

I want to end this last Talk with Momma Braga with a special heartfelt thank you to The Baby Spot and global parenting community. It has been such an honor being The Blogger of the Year and I have made so many more friends. It has been a pleasure doing these interviews and for sharing my honest truth and opinion on some really hot parenting topics. Thank you for this opportunity and for all your love and support. Much love to you all!

 

It is so important to always give back to the communities that we live in. These 7 easy tips can not only change your child’s experience but change their life and the way that your family views the world. Whether you are donating clothes and food to charity, knitting for the homeless, cuddling babies at the hospital or more, there is no greater gift to give your children then to give back.

Some of our favorite ways to give back working as a family are:

-Knitting hats for newborn babies in the hospital

-Knitting hats and mittens for the homeless

-collecting foodstuffs and diapers for the homeless

-doing fundraisers for your trusted charity

-cleaning up a local park or area in need of a facelift

-playing instruments for the elderly

-reading to the pets in animal shelters

-volunteering at an animal shelter

-getting donations for food, blankets and toys for animal hospitals

-signing up for Big Brothers or Big Sisters

-(with older children) teaching adults how to read at the local library

-advocating jobs for those who have mental health abilities or challenges

-(with older children) mentoring younger children

-(with older children) tutoring children and teens at the local library

 

And there is so much more, these are just some of our favorites.

How do you and your family give back to your community, country and your world? If not, how would you want to start? We have so many ideas but there are endless ways that you can give back. It’s time to get creative! Depending on the community that you live in, there are different needs that can be addressed. How do you give back or are prepared to give back? Leave your answers in the comment section below and tell us how you give back or you want to start giving back!

 

We want to extend a special thank you to Momma Braga for another excellent interview and being so candid with our global audience. We have really given her some hard topics to talk about over the last year but she always brings her full heart into each interview. She is the example of what a true blogger should be like, always willing to educate and entertain her audience. Visit Momma Braga at www.mommabraga.com for daily blog posts, recipes, crafts, interviews and so much more. This Canadian blogger has gone global very quickly! Though we say goodbye to Momma Braga as our Blogger of the year and welcome our next blogger(s) of the year (we are so excited to announce this) you don’t have to miss Momma Braga as we have two big announcements to make at the end of December! We can’t wait to tell