Want to teach your kids that helping others feels good? Check out family-to-family.org, a national non-profit hunger relief program aimed at connecting families with more help those with less. You can sign up to sponsor a family in one of 13 impoverished communities -- and either pack the food yourself or have money taken out of your bank account each month. You can also exchange letters with your family and establish a relationship over time.
Another terrific way to participate: Be a birthday buddy. Help your child send a needy child a “birthday in a box,” a shoebox filled with goodies for a happy birthday, such as cake mix, a small toy and a gently used book. Make it an event and get a group together (such as your child’s scout group) to fulfill a bunch of birthday boxes. Or host a birthday giving party. Instead of handing out goodie bags at your child’s next birthday, have the attendees fill goody bags to send to needy kids. You can find printable invitations for the party here.
I just signed my family up and we sent our first package of toothbrushes and toothpaste to our family in New Mexico. My 3-year-old had fun helping me choose appropriate toothbrushes for each child. I know she doesn’t realize yet how those toothbrushes are helping kids like her, but I hope that someday she will and that giving will become second nature to her.