Lifestyle / Family

Karabo Mokoena
Content producer
4 minute read
19 Dec 2019
11:00 am

Teaching our children generosity this festive season

Karabo Mokoena

Christmas is a time of giving. This does not have to be limited to your household or family unit. It is possible to extend our giving during this time.

Image: iStock

Wherever you are, there probably is a buzzing spirit in your home. The little ones are bursting with festive energy and cannot wait for their gifts from Santa.

This excitement is not a reality for some families.

For some families, their only concern is what they will be eating tomorrow morning, not Christmas clothes or gifts.

Raising socially aware and generous children is important. If you grew up poor, your priority as a parent is to make sure your kids don’t follow suit. You try and make sure that they want for nothing. But in the process, we should not raise them in a bubble where poverty does not exist.

This does not mean they should experience it. It means that they should know that some people do.

Christmas is a time of giving. This does not have to be limited to your household or family unit. It is possible to extend our giving during this time.

Forgood is an organisation that connects people to causes all across South Africa. They have 418 interactive non-profit organisations (NPO) on their database that require assistance. They are currently running festive campaigns across the country where any person can lend a helping hand. These campaigns have been running from October 25, 2019, until December 31 2019.

They have 32 running campaigns in different categories and have been in operation for eight years. Categories include:

  • Hygiene items
  • Food
  • Education
  • Childcare
  • Clothing
  • Health

The point here is to connect people with organisations and their specific needs. According to Nerissa Roberts, who is Forgood’s community manager, it is great to buy school shoes to give to a child in need, but they probably just need hygiene items instead. One need not make assumptions about what people need. We can simply ask.

“Teaching your children generosity is pivotal when trying to raise adults that can function in society,” Nerissa said.

It is not enough to think about your own needs. Generosity, which in it its essence is thinking about others and their needs, needs to be entrenched in us all.

Nerissa states that “generosity is an expression of compassion and humanity”. It needs to be woven in us all, and when better to start than when the kids are still small.

Forgood encourages people to give their time, mostly. This is because investing yourself is more valuable than offering items that you no longer need. This doesn’t disregard the fact that giving away items that are no longer used is appreciated.

But there is a beauty in investing time doing something that you love for other people. If your child enjoys playing with animals, find a shelter for him where he can spend time with animals. If yours loves taking photos, find a cause that will allow him to do just that for people.

Melissa encourages this because you get to share a bit of your heart instead of possessions.

The key is to connect with organisations in need. Then you arrange with them beforehand on what to do. You can go online and see which organisations are close to you, and what they need.

If they do require some assistance during Christmas, then arrange with them beforehand. It is always better to arrange during October or November. As much as they need volunteers, it is never a good idea for people to pitch with no prior arrangements.

Here are four easy steps to follow to make this a reality for your family.

1) Go online with your little one and search for organisations close to you,

2) Call them and find out if they require some items or your time these holidays.

3) Arrange and confirm a time to come past their organisation

4) Put together the items that they need with your children

5) Pitch up and have a great time

For 2020, get your mind in tune regarding what these organisations need. It does not need to be something we do as a family during Christmas alone. To make sure it is a habit woven into our children, it has to be consistent. So start doing your research and connect with organisations.

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