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Day 62: The 12 GIVES of Christmas for Kids

This post could actually be called “The 12 days of Giving” but since we are on the edge of one of the biggest holiday’s of the year for so many people around the world, I will take advantage of the name. No religious context implied.

This GIVE was inspired by a recent email I received from a reader, a teacher by the name of Alicia from Barrie, Ontario. Alicia came across the 365give concept and implement it into her classroom of grade 7 & 8. You can read their classroom’s daily GIVE’s called 140give. Alicia’s story reduced me to tears as she is teaching the children in her class how they can GIVE every day in their lives. Bringing the 365give commitment into schools is long term goal of the movement. Here is the comment that was posted on 365give from Alicia:

“I was so inspired by your mission, that I have stolen your idea and implemented in my classroom. We have committed a small portion of our time every day that we’re in school (we call it 140give) to performing small acts to improve our classroom, families, school, community, country or the world. There is a link to our ‘gives’ on our class website. I have linked your website to it, so people will know it’s your idea! Thank you so much. Keep it up!”

Taking the time to teach our children how to GIVE unprompted, is one of the single greatest gifts you could GIVE your child in their lifetime. Our children have become so good at getting and receiving these days from the multitude of media venues constantly plug the next greatest toy or game. Many homes are filled with unwanted toys that sit and go to waste everyday. What if we taught them instead how good it feels to GIVE. What a “high” giving can be when you see the direct result of your actions.

I have a strong opinion that my generation, the 40 – 60 year olds have taken too many actions to create too many problems in the world, and it is the next generation who will have to fix the damage we have done. If there is only one way you can GIVE in your life, teach your children how to GIVE – do it with their time, energy, their skills – even a bit of their allowance. Make it part of how they think every day.

Thank you Alicia and her entire class for implementing 365give (140give) into your lives. You are changing the way a generation thinks about giving – simply and easily with fun and education behind it all. A big cheer for you all!

Here are my 12 GIVES of Christmas for kids. A few of these inspired by Alicia’s class. Stayed tuned for the 12 GIVES of Christmas for the older generation. The hippest philanthropic things you can do this holidays season.

GIVE 62/ DAY 62

These are 12 easy GIVES you can do over the holiday season with your children. Make it part of your day, every day.  Teach them the art of giving. Philanthropy comes in all shapes, sizes and ages. Let’s instill this concept of giving into our children right now. It’s never to early (my son is 3) and never to late.

The 12 GIVES of Christmas

Pick up garbage at your local park / school grounds to GIVE to the planet.
Link into Care2 and click to donate. You will learn with your children the instant impact your free donations have had to 12 organizations around the world.
Bring a used blanket to the SPCA (or any local animal rescue organization) and GIVE to animals in need. Your child will get to pet some while you are there!
Go through your cloths together and find old hats, mitts and scarf to GIVE to a homeless person. Make the trip together and take the time to talk about homelessness.
Ask your child to GIVE up one toy they no longer use, wrap it up as a gift and donate it to child that would enjoy using it.
Find one new way to recycle household items. (Milk cartons, batteries, electronics)
Practice water conservation for one full day. (turn off taps while brushing your teeth, shower instead of bathing, flush every two pee’s instead of every time)
Take a portion of your allowance or holiday money and research with your parents / teacher how you can donate it to an organization you believe in. (Plan Canada, Free the Children, Second Harvest)
Remind your parents to bring only reusable bags for all their holiday shopping. Count how many bags you have saved by the end of the holidays as a family.
Make one day “Gratitude Day,” Take the time to be thankful for everything you have in your lives as a family. Take it one step further and call 3 people in your life and thank them for what they have brought to your life.
“Environmental art” holiday cards. Take a few hours to go our into you neighbourhood collecting items from the ground that you could use to make holiday cards. You can even use recycled paper to make your cards and help to save the planet one card at a time!
Free Hug Day. Take the time to hug everyone that is important to you in your life. Count how many people you hugged and have a competition at home or at school. Try to win the title of Hugger of the Day! A hug goes a long way to make even the grumpiest person a little happier and more generous.

Make this your holiday family or schools commitment this holiday season. Sit down with them and come up with your own ideas to GIVE. Send me your ideas! How many ideas can 365give collect over the holidays to share with everyone?

You don’t have to spend money or a lot of time over the holidays on this, but it would be a great educational project for the whole family.

What better “Show and Tell”  after the holiday season but to have a “Show and GIVE” at school or around your family table!

Time Commitment: 15 minutes to come up with all 12 ideas

Cost: 0

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)