"As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way." - Mary Ann Radmacher

Making #GivingTuesday, #EveryTuesday

Are you tired of #GivingTuesday messages? If you are on our site, chances are you have received a lot of them. The concept behind #GivingTuesday is a beautiful thing: have people around the world come together around one simple idea for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. At holiday time and given the current state of world affairs, one could argue this great idea is more important than ever. Whether you give of your time, your talent or your treasure, we hope you will find a way for your family to come together to give something just a little bit more than usual.

But at Project Giving Kids, we envision a world where #GivingTuesday becomes #EveryTuesday (and Wednesday and Monday and Saturday too). By teaching children at an early age the power of giving back, we stand to create a culture where that is what we think about when we wake up each day, where one hashtag is replaced by another. So this #GivingTuesday, we wish you and your family the best the upcoming holiday season has to offer and one where #GivingKIDS seek their giving purpose #EveryTuesday.

 

Kids Can Learn Empathy By Caring About Animals

By Rachel Hanebutt, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, PGK - Boston

Giving back to animals might be the easiest way to introduce your kids to the benefits to helping others. For our partner, MSPCA Angell in Boston, young children make an impact on homeless animals simply by learning more about them. “Your kids can make an impact just by coming into the shelter,” says Project Coordinator, Katie Armour. While the MSPCA adoption center, one of the largest in the Boston area, might not allow young children to volunteer, they can come into the center to meet homeless animals and to learn more about animal care and safety. They can also craft quilts for the shelter, make dog toys, host a doggie biscuit bake sale, or any number of other things from their own homes or neighborhoods.

The MSPCA does, however, encourage volunteers 16 year and older to apply to make a difference at the shelter. While life-long volunteers are preferred, high school students with a love for animals can give back to their communities by volunteering at the MSPCA.

Most kids love animals, but few learn how important it is for a community to take care of homeless animals. Not all families have the capacity to adopt; your family might not be able to commit to an animal, but fostering is also an option. Kids can learn how to help animals that do not have homes, which simultaneously teaches them how to be great animal owners in the future.

“You learn empathy from a really early age; its so important for kids to learn that there are homeless animals and how they can help,” says Armour. “Get your kids involved in a local shelter in some capacity; whether its canned food drives, donations, etc. Little things can be very helpful." 

The MSPCA in Boston is just one of the many ways in which you and your family can help local animals in need. Familiarizing your kids with homeless animals and the adoption process will ultimately inspire future generations of adopters!

 

PGK and Political Participation: Why Raising Civically-Minded Kids is Important

By Rachel Hanebutt, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, PGK - Boston

According to recent studies, “Young people who grow up in a household where someone volunteers are twice as likely to volunteer regularly, to be an active member of a group, and are more likely to follow politics and vote.” From the onset, encouraging all citizens, young and old, to give back to their communities seems like easy insurance for civic engagement. Especially with the 2016 election season looming, figuring out ways to cultivate strong civic values in our kids is important for not only this election, but for all elections to come.

Project Giving Kids focuses on finding causes that kids really care about; being interested in a particular cause or orSoganization, paired with the experience of making a difference in their community exposes them to their civic duty in an effective way. While the connection between making Joke Books for Hospitality Homes or hosting a Crayon Collection crayon drive and voting in a future election might not be apparent, utilizing any and all methods for promoting civic engagement in youth is a smart choice.

Reflecting back on service experiences is also important for solidifying the impact giving back to the community has on your kids. “Young people who discuss a volunteer experience are twice as likely as others to volunteer regularly. And, they are also 16 percentage points more likely to try to influence someone’s vote.” PGK’s registration feature facilitates the essential reflection every time a child indicates that he or she “completed” an activity, helping parents to maximize the influence each and every civic experience has on their kids.

While the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election is not at all clear, one thing we can be certain of is the importance of raising civically-minded kids that care not only about giving back to their communities, but also about electing those who will lead them.

Data Source: The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

 

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