The Value of Philanthropy – Teaching Kids to Give Back
“Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”
– John F. Kennedy
Everything boils down to education. When we teach our children to value themselves, they learn to value others. Teaching kids to care is the greatest gift that we can bestow upon them. It helps them understand how to balance their own needs with the needs of those around them – family, friends, and teachers.
There is nothing more gratifying than seeing kids helping kids: our young fifth graders, the All-Star Givers, at Washington Heights-based P.S. 152 raised over $1100 from spare change as part of Common Cents Penny Harvest, the largest child philanthropy program in the US. Our Teen Action Club collected almost 1,000 cans of food for local food pantries, winning them free airline tickets, which they used to fly to Las Vegas, not for a part to help another nonprofit clean up graffiti and clear our parking lots! They understand firsthand that they can make a difference when they work together.
At The Children’s Aid Society , we strongly encourage our youth to engage in philanthropic efforts, through community school programs and teen initiatives, like our Bronx Youth Council, where middle and high school students actively participate in neighborhood issues that directly affect them. Issues such as gang violence, mental health, education and hunger are some of the problems they face in their community. Each student chooses a specific issue, makes it his or her own personal cause and, at the end of each year presents a recommended plan of action to peers, teachers and government officials alike.
“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
Philanthropy and community involvement builds character, fosters a strong sense of compassion, and transforms young people into just and benevolent leaders. And – it simply feels good to help others! But our kids have already figured that one out!