How To Teach Your Child To Be Charitable (Part 2)


Goodwill DonatingIn part one of this series, I talked about how I am teaching Christopher to practically help others less fortunate by donating to Goodwill. Today, we had our second installment of this process. Instead of purchasing something from Goodwill, we actually donated the clothing we had sifted through a while back.

Today wasn’t so painful for Christopher because he didn’t have to try on clothes for two hours, he “just” had to take them to the donation center. On our way to Goodwill, I asked Christopher if he remembered why we’re donating to Goodwill. Given that it’s been over a month since we had last been there to purchase something to support Goodwill’s cause, it’s understandable that he couldn’t remember.

Keep Repeating The Mission
That’s exactly why it is important to choose a charity through which you can repeat a charitable act to keep driving the message home. Children are just like adults. They need to hear about an organization several times in order to remember them. So today, we went over Goodwill’s mission again. We are going there to donate clothes because the money Goodwill earns with it helps put disabled people to work. And work is very important.

Goodwill Donation Center

Teach The Secondary Benefits
It just so happened that during the last month, our DVD player died. Time to welcome Blue-Ray into our house. Did you know that you should still donate broken electronics to Goodwill? They have an e-waste program through which they employ people with barriers. These workers take the broken electronics apart and recycle them piece by piece, instead of the items getting tossed in a landfill. So here was another teachable moment of how to utilize Goodwill to help protect the environment, too.

Goodwill Donation Center

Keep Repeating The Act
When we got to the donation center, the person who accepted our bags was one of the program workers. He greeted us with a genuine smile, ready to take our bags. At first I didn’t notice, but he actually couldn’t speak. Christopher noticed, too. As we walked away, I asked him if he had noticed something about the man. And he did say that he couldn’t speak, he just pointed. So I told him that this was one of the people our donations are helping. This is one of the people that is employed because of people like us. That really made him think. I hope it’ll make him remember better.

Now, compared to our last trip, this went really quickly. There was no sorting through clothes, there was no trying on clothes in the store, there was no picking a toy as a reward. He simply dropped off the bags and left again. So when we got home, I made him recite to room mate what had happened at the donation center, to be certain he really understood.

Next time we go will probably be a shopping trip again. I will make sure to keep repeating the mantra and the mission and hopefully, next time he will know why we go to Goodwill without having to be reminded.

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