Thursday, November 29, 2012



Teaching children to be Philanthropist: You are never too young

By Yolanda Conley Shields

The largest wealth transfer in history has more affluent families placing a greater emphasis on teaching their heirs about philanthropy.  You don’t have to be wealthy to teach your children the importance of giving back.  It can start just by putting up a Lemonade stand in your neighborhood to raise money that can be given away to a local or international charity group.  When children learn that they have something to offer to someone Less Fortunate than themselves, they rise to the challenge.  What are you doing to teach your children to give back?  

How you can get started:

Introduce your child or students to the idea of helping others and to have them understand that they can also be philanthropic. (They have time, treasures and/or talents to share.)

Things you can do with your children to teach them about giving back:
  •  Write the word ‘philanthropy’ on piece of paper or board.
  • Ask your child or students if they remember what this word means (if they have had previous lessons), or ask them if they know what it means.
  •  Review (explain) that philanthropy is the giving of ones time, treasures and talents for the common good (the good of everyone)..
  • Introduce the story for the day:
  • Wanda’s Roses by Pat Brisson is a story about a girl who works with the people in her community to create a beautiful rose garden.
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is the story of a woman who wants to fulfill her dream of doing something to make the world more beautiful, so she plants flower seeds across the country.
  • Johnny Appleseed by Patricia Demuth is the story of a man who travels across the country planting apple trees for others to enjoy.
  • Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan.
After each reading of the individual books, have your child or students discuss in groups how each character in each book has contributed something philanthropic to his/her community. Then call individuals to report for their group. 
  1. Review with students the general theme of the books that were read throughout the previous week. (Giving of ones times, talents and treasures for the common good)
  2. Ask students if they think there are any philanthropic acts that they feel they would be able to do. Hopefully, your child or students will respond positively, if not, give them suggestions of things they already do that are philanthropic or help them discover what they could do to give back.    
See the philanthropy work that young people have accomplished.  You can join them by starting your own project today!

Rena Mateja Walker Burr raised $506 to help homeless children through Wellspring Family Services.
Once on the verge of homelessness, Walker Burr and her mother received help from Wellspring Family Services. After they got back on their feet, at the young age of 5 years old, Walker Burr hit the ground running by going door to door asking for change to help homeless children in her community. After two years, Walker Burr collected $506. She shared her story in a short film and, when it was shown to Wellspring supporters, 110 of them matched her $506 for a total of $55,660.

Young philanthropist helps African children. Grayson Burrows, 10, with help from friends, family, classmates and her church community raised more than $2,000 for Villages of Hope Africa. 

A couple years ago the Youth Life Learning Center students from Nashville, TN became pen pals with students from Uganda as well as collected pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.  For their Christmas project that year the kids at YLLC decided to raise money to help support “The Saturday Club” where their pen pals go on Saturday for academic help and Bible Study. The money they raised went to help buy supplies, food, and many other needs. The students set a goal to come up with $75.00 for The Saturday Club.

What are your children or students doing to give back? Send me your stories.

My Philanthropy work includes: Work in USA and Africa with - Adassa Adumori Foundation, Luila Village Ministry and Youth Life Foundation of TN