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Give the Gift of a Great Future with Boys & Girls Club of America

I can’t imagine not having my mom at home when I was a kid. I counted on her to be there to pick me up from school, give me a snack and make me do my homework. Yet an increasing number of kids in America today come home to an empty house – no care, no supervision. Unless they go to a Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA)!

A long time ago, I did a visit to a Boys and Girls Club with a group to spend time with the kids. The area was spacious, inviting, and full of fun activity. I think it’d be a great type of place for our family to volunteer when our kids get older.

As far as giving goes, we talk to our son all the time about ways we can give. We encourage him to be kind and giving with his brother and people in public. He draws thank you cards, and always offers to help out his Nonna cleaning the house. Recently, we’ve been doing a lot of talk about giving toys and food to others this Christmastime to teach him more about giving outside the family.

We’ve been collecting household, toy, and food items for our local food pantry, toy drives, and the Safe Haven women’s shelter. We’re throwing in things like natural lip balms, new stuffed animals, and extra canisters of Earth’s Best snacks – whatever we find as we go through the house – we figure if we like it, then other families and kids will like it too! I always tell my son about how we’re giving these items to kids who don’t have presents this Christmas. He’ll ask, “Where are their presents?” It’s so hard for him to understand the idea of families that have to do without.

Our son definitely has a giving spirit, even if he doesn’t quite understand the concept. When I ask him if he wants to donate some toys he doesn’t need anymore to other kids, he happily starts collecting all the favorite toys he was just playing with. Then again, maybe that IS the concept? To give your very best?

This year marks the 2nd annual BGCA Give the Gift of a Great Future Holiday Campaign. You can help give virtually by playing the free Giving Game to easily donate a gift to a Club this season. Or vote in the Kids Give Back photo contest.

And there’s still time to talk to your kids about the value of giving back this season. BGCA created a list of tips to help parents teach their children the value of giving back. My favorites include reading books about giving, doing something fun like baking cookies to drop off to neighbors, or even something really special like creating a snowflake for the students of the Newtown tragedy. Check out the list for more great ideas to share the joys of giving with your child!

I don’t want our family to get swept away by too much commercialism at Christmas. After all, it’s really all about giving.

How do you find ways to teach your children about giving throughout the year?

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.”

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