Several years ago in our family, we started The Giving Box. What is The Giving Box, you ask? I’m so glad you asked!
Raise your hand if you have too much stuff. Me, me, me! It seems that no matter what I do, I just can’t keep up with all the stuff in our house. Every gift-giving holiday brings a little anxiety as we don’t have room for the stuff we already have…especially toys. We are so blessed but too many things can feel burdensome–especially when I think about those who have nothing or very little.
I want our kids to understand how blessed they are. I want them also to understand that having more and more things is not what this life is about. If we have abundance or too much of something, we should give it to those who could use it or appreciate it more than we do…enter The Giving Box.
Every December, we put out a Giving Box (plastic tub or laundry basket) and see how many times we can fill it with things we can donate. Last year, we filled it four times! I’m challenging my kids to fill it more times this year.
Teaching our kids to have a heart to give doesn’t take much…
- always having $1 handy for the Salvation Army bell ringer.
- bringing a homeless man a meal.
- participating in toy drives, book drives, or canned food drives.
- bringing chicken soup to a sick friend.
- putting $1 in the offering plate at church.
- volunteering at a soup kitchen.
But teaching our kids to have a heart to give does take us. We have to be the ones to set the example. We have to be the ones to place an importance on giving. We have to give first and then they will follow our lead.
You can work as a team with your family to teach the beauty of giving to others too. Giving is about love, thoughtfulness, and compassion. Giving is about understanding that there is a world outside of ourselves that our kids can be a part of helping. Giving is about God in motion. We are His hands and feet and so when we teach our kids to give, not only are we modeling teamwork, but we are modeling a calling to give as we are able.
How to use The Giving Box with your family:
- Get a box, laundry basket, or large tub or storage bin. Attach a sign that says “The Giving Box.”
- Bring your family together and share how blessed that you are as a family to have each other and that people are more important than things.
- Let them know that together, as a team/family, you are going to see how many times you can fill The Giving Box with things from around the house.
- Choose a local charity where you will be donating your items. Research the charity together so you know how your things are going for the greater good.
- Work as a team to go through every closet, every cabinet. Clean out toys, books, clothes, shoes, hats, gloves, coats, pots, pans…everything you own should be gone through!
- Keep track of how many times the box is filled and do a family hug each time you’ve filled it.
The Giving Box–what a great way to get rid of things in your home, bless others, and be blessed as you work as a team to give!
THE GIVING BOX SIGN AND DIRECTIONS
Lord, you say to give as we are able. You say to give generously. Open our hearts to the ways you want us to give generously using the gifts you have given us. Show us ways we can use our time, our resources, and even our prayers to help others. And may our acts of giving reflect your light and love onto our children so that their hearts would beam with the desire to give.
Here’s to building better families–