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A holiday note from us to you

“Make a gift of your life and lift all mankind by being kind, considerate, forgiving, and compassionate at all times, in all places, and under all conditions, with everyone as well as yourself. This is the greatest gift anyone can give.”  ~Dr. David Hawkins

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During the holidays, parents all across the country are gearing up to battle the crowds and long lines to find the best gifts and the best deals. This holiday season, step back for a second to look past the tinsel and the lights and remember the true meaning of the holidays. During this season of giving, instead of asking what is on their list for Christmas or Hanukkah, follow some of the simple tips below to build a sense of philanthropy in your children.  

Model the behavior you want to see. One of the most effective ways to encourage giving in kids, during the holidays or year-round, is also the simplest: Model the behavior you want to see in them. When they’re old enough, ask your kids to help you research your own contributions.

Let kids make their own decisions. Many parents want kids to participate in charitable events and activities, but take their interest for granted and won’t give them any real authority. For example, if you’re contributing to a gift bag for needy families, let your kids do the shopping – with a budget, of course. Don’t hover. Don’t judge. Let the child go about the process in his or her own way.

Involve children early. Create an annual family tradition, so giving becomes an expected part of the holiday. It doesn’t have to be complicated. The family can volunteer to help deliver food for Thanksgiving, host a fundraising party for the local school or shelter, or collect clothing for the needy.

Encourage kids to save and donate money from their allowances. Work with your children to figure out how they want to donate the money set aside for giving. One parent suggests to her kids that they think about giving to things they get a little mad about. That’s a great way to involve kids, who typically have an innate sense of fair play but often feel powerless to change the things they believe are wrong.

Adjust your expectations to their age. With young children, put coins in three jars or containers – one for saving, one for spending, and one for giving — so the process is tangible. From older kids, require the real deal in making a charitable gift count: research, site visits, financial reviews, conversations with a nonprofit’s staff and grantees, and oversight for results and impact. The more contact and involvement your kids have with the real-world impact of their contributions, the more engaged they will become.

Giving your kids the “gift of giving” introduces a new generation to the importance of helping people in need. It helps bring families closer and kindles the spirit of the holidays better than any expensive toy or electronic game ever could. And it helps the children themselves.

 

“When children give to others they experience the best of what it is to be human,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Peter Langman, a nationally recognized authority on children’s emotional health.

“They begin to see themselves as benevolent beings, shaping their identities for the future.”

 

In conjunction with this wonderful message, the Northboro Chiropractic Center is holding a toy drive for the Worcester Horizons for Homeless Children, a charity that helps to enrich the lives of every homeless preschool child in Massachusetts and beyond.

Simply bring in a new and unwrapped item from the list below and earn raffle tickets to win great prizes yourself. Thank you in advance for helping us make the Holiday Season brighter for these children in need.

Horizons for Homeless Children Wish List—High Priority Items: Packs of Play-Do, hand sanitizer, child-sized scissors, puzzles (Melissa & Doug), glitter glue, smocks for painting, colored pencils, Twister games, infant rattles/sound makers, playing cards, bilingual spanish books, Old Maid cards, clorox wipes, Go Fish cards, tissues, SkipBo cards, Uno cards

 

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