How can I Teach Kids About Charity?

Sherry Holetzky

Teaching kids about charity is a valuable lesson for both you and the children. It is important that children learn at an early age to be considerate of others and to show compassion. When you educate children regarding charity, you teach them important life lessons.

When grocery shopping, have children pick out an item or two to contribute to a local food pantry.
When grocery shopping, have children pick out an item or two to contribute to a local food pantry.

Most kids can more readily relate to other children who are hurting. Involving kids in programs that help other kids may be the perfect way to instill a lifelong attitude of giving to charity. Giving back to the community in the form of food-and-clothing drives is a good way to start.

Having kids donate clothing they've outgrown can teach them about charity.
Having kids donate clothing they've outgrown can teach them about charity.

Even small children can participate in giving to charity. Ask a child to choose an item of clothing or a toy that he or she no longer uses, to donate to children that have few clothes and perhaps no toys at all. When you do your weekly grocery shopping, ask each of your children to pick out an item or two to donate to the local food pantry.

As children get a little older, they can begin giving a small percentage of allowance or savings to charity. Many children have learned to give so enthusiastically that they have created their own charities. Look for a charity started by children, and share the information with your children. If you also make giving a priority, then teaching by example, children will learn to give cheerfully.

If you can't give financially to a charity, you and your kids can still offer your time. You may even want to start a fundraiser, and donate the proceeds to a favorite local charity. There are many fundraising opportunities and your child's class might even want to participate.

If you decide to try fundraising, be sure to choose a product that children can handle and sell easily. Choose items with an even price such as $1.00 so children will be able to keep track of money, and always make sure children have adult supervision. Also, garner help from community resources to promote your fundraiser, such as utilizing free public service announcements offered by many TV and radio stations.

No matter how large or small the effort, instilling a sense of charity will teach children to care about others and to give something back to the community.

Kids can help clean out cupboards to look for canned items to donate to charity.
Kids can help clean out cupboards to look for canned items to donate to charity.

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Discussion Comments


These are great ideas, but better than giving the canned goods at a food drive at school. How about collecting them from neighbors to take to the food bank? Let your kids have a lemonade stand to raise money for a favorite charity of theirs.


Teaching charity to a child is very some. Simply take a trip to your local church on a Sunday and has the basket comes around sure to fill it up. Ask your child to provide some of their weekly allowance and give it to God. Teaching charity is as simple as that.

If the child questions the value of the money they are giving to the church just describe to them all the wonderful events of charity that the church provides to the community.


I think it's all nice and very well to bring canned foods to local school and even to go to the local shelter and ladle out bowls of soup for the needy but I think that there is a certain value in creating the actual goods that you were going to be giving for charity.

when a child is asked to produce the work or perform the manual labor that in turn will allow them to purchase the food that is used for charity only then will they see the value that goes into the charity being offered.

If the parent hands a couple of quarters to their child so they can give them to the local bum on the street corner there is no value in the charity seen by the child because the quarters came as charity from the parent to the child.

Now if the child was required to go in the lawn on a weekend for a neighbor and then use the money to give to the bump himself, a true form of charity and the value that it takes to give charity would be discovered by the child.


@Ubiquitous, while I can appreciate your desire to teach your children the value of charity with using canned food drives at the local school, I think there are better and more effective means of teaching such a value to our young generation.

One of my favorite methods of teaching charity to children and young adults is the use of a field trip to the homeless shelter in any given city. While it may seem cliché to stand in the line serving homeless people a hot meal the effects can be wonderful and yet very disturbing at the same time.

Seeing the eyes of these helpless, downtrodden, and disturbed individuals can break your heart and also cause confusion as to how we can live in a world where this type of poverty exists.

This hands-on approach to learning what charity means and what it is to give to the needy is in my opinion the most effective means of learning about the socioeconomic divide that creates tension in our society.


Charity is a hard concept to come into a child's mind. It is often seen as a value that can only be taught through a parent and for this reason we as parents must be very certain to instill quality characteristics such as charity in our children.

I personally like to teach my children about charity in a variety of different ways. Contributing to the schools fundraisers as well as canned food drives can be an excellent way to show that giving is helping other people.

The other problem with this though is that sometimes not seem that people do actually need the charity can leave a disconnect in a child's mind as to where that canned food is going.

It seems that a child needs to see the hungry hungry person enjoying the food in order to accept the fact in their mind they provided that meal and satisfaction to the hungry persons belly.

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