Did you have a chance to check out the Save the Children website that I mentioned in my last post? It offers 10 tips to parents for helping children cope when they are exposed to news of a major disaster. Among them: Turn off the television to spare younger children; model good coping strategies; listen carefully to determine how well your child is coping with the news of the disaster and encourage your children to do volunteer work to give them a sense of control. Save the Children also promises to send out a fundraising kit to your school within 48 hours.

Helping the rebuilding efforts after the Asian Tsunami was memorable and important for my children. Not only did they learn that they can respond when other children of the world are in need, I’m also used it as an opportunity to introduce to them other, less visible yet as important ongoing needs of children in our world. National or international disaster situations can provide the same lessons for your children.

Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Check it out. The American Institute of Philanthropy Web site, www.charitywatch.org, is a nationally prominent watchdog service with the purpose of helping donors make informed giving decisions.
  • Make a list. Create a short list of charities and convene a family meeting to choose a family charity to support.
  • Keep track of your donation. Read, watch and talk about the crisis and periodically check back with the charity you choose to see the progress that has been made as a result of the donations.

Talk about it tonight over dinner if you have not already done so. Help your children decide what they can do to make the world a better place for those in need. Children need to learn they have a choice with their money and there are many real opportunities to make the choice of donation come alive for your kids.

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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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