Summer is a great time to take a deep breath and enjoy a little extra free time with your kids. No more stressing out about homework, project deadlines, concerts and indoor sports events. Use this extra time to talk with your kids about giving back.

Getting out to help out

For younger kids, it might be as simple as getting the mail for an older neighbor each day. For older kids, it could mean lending a hand to that same neighbor with a little yard work.

Kids of all ages could get outside and plant a vegetable garden and then donate the lion’s share of the crop to a local food pantry. While waiting for that bumper crop to grow, go online and start feeding the hungry at

Thinking globally

In sponsorship with the United Nations World Food Programme and various private sponsors, is not only an educational tool, but a fun, quick way to donate food to impoverished countries. The website includes a series of quizzes in multiple subject areas. For every question you answer correctly, the site donates 10 grains of rice. Since its debut on October 7, 2007, has donated over 224 billion grains of rice. Click here for more info:

Helping families with sick children

Teach your kids to help other kids by asking them to save up coins to donate the next time you visit a McDonald’s this summer. All donations benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities which provide housing for families to stay near their children in the hospital.  Here’s a link with other ways your family can get involved to support this charity: Get Involved – Volunteer with RMHC | RMHC

Donating to your school

Those who have kids in school likely know about Box Tops for Education. Sponsored by General Mills, the Box Tops program is an easy way to donate money to your school. All sorts of General Mills products are included in the program. (Click here to find all the products and brands now participating). All you have to do is download the Box Tops for Education app from Google Play or the App Store and begin scanning your receipts within 14 days of a purchase.  The App then finds products on the receipt which are enrolled in the program and automatically credits your school’s earnings online. If your school is not already participating, click here to help them get started: Box Tops for Education

These simple exercises help to show kids that their time is a powerful contribution that helps benefit others in need.

Photo credit: iStock | igoriss

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Written by Susan Beacham
Susan Beacham founded Money Savvy Generation in 1999 after almost two decades in private banking and investment management complemented by considerable time teaching at the elementary level.

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