Holidays and giving

The holidays are a great time of year to teach youth about giving.

4-H youth gave their time at a senior center and
4-H youth gave their time at a senior center and "bowled" with the seniors using the Wii game system.

It’s that time of year when people are busy getting ready for family gatherings and holiday celebrations. This is also a great time of year to teach youth about giving. Giving can mean many things, and adults can give youth opportunities to learn to give and develop life skills that can be used into adulthood. Michigan State University Extension has the following suggestions on how youth can give this holiday season.

Giving can be of one’s time. Donating a few hours of work at a local soup kitchen or passing out food to people less fortunate can help teach youth about the giving of their time for others.

Giving can be monetary. Donating money to an organization you value and will do great work with your money is also giving. Organizations like community foundations and other local non-profits normally hold their annual giving campaign at the end of the year. It is important to do research on the organization you are giving to make sure the money is making an impact where you want it to.

Giving can be of your talents. Doing something you love and donating that item or service to people who may be struggling is also giving. Maybe your talent is leadership; helping an organization complete a project, event or planning phase would be a way to give.

It is important to remember youth can participate in giving just like adults. Many youth have jobs or allowances that can be given. Youth also have many different talents like music or leadership that could be used in a community celebration.

Take time to talk with your youth about giving and develop a plan on the ways your family can give around the holidays.

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