Summertime is a great time to take a deep breath and enjoy the free time you finally have with your kids. No more stressing out about homework, project deadlines, concerts and sports events. Use the extra time to talk to your kids about giving back. For younger kids, it might be as simple as helping out a senior in the neighborhood who needs a hand getting the mail from the mail box each day. For older kids, it could mean lending a hand to that same senior 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 you are waiting for that bumper crop to start paying dividends, go online and start feeding the hungry right away at

In sponsorship with the United Nations World Food Programme and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, is not only an educational tool, but a fun, quick way to donate food to impoverished countries. The website is set up as a series of quizzes in over 13 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 65 billion grains of rice.

Teach your kids to help other kids by asking them to save the aluminum pull tab from their pop can and send it to their local Ronald McDonald House. These tabs will then be recycled for money which is then donated back to the house.

Of course, any of us who have had kids in school know about Box tops for Education.Sponsored by General Mills, Box Tops are easy ways to donate money to your school. They’re found on all sorts of General Mills products and each box top is equal to $0.10. Get a head start on saving these for your next school year. All you have to do is cut the box top off of the packaging and send them in for redemption. If your school is not already collecting, get them started!

Both of my girls loved collecting box tops and were very proud that they helped their school trade those box tops in for extra soccer balls for recess. That simple exercise showed them that their time was a powerful contribution that helped their school get what they needed.

By Susan Beacham and Casey Donovan

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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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