Giving back to your community and your world can actually help you in a variety of ways, Jean says. Not only will it make you feel good, but it will also make you a positive role model for your children.
Teaching children to give to those in need is a great way to build a foundation for a future of giving to charity, Jean says. Jean talks with Ellen Sabin, author of The Giving Book, who shares her tips for teaching our children how to give.
Introduce your children to a variety of issues and causes in the world. The more they're exposed to them, the more they can choose which ones really matter to them.
Show them that there are many different ways to give besides just giving money. For example, picking up litter in a park is philanthropic; it's helping the environment.
Start with the simple things. Simply writing a card or calling someone in need—or even smiling—is still charity because it warms someone's heart.
Acknowledge when your children do something giving. Show them that you're proud of them.
Come up with family rituals. Perhaps you can give to the same cause every year during the holidays.
In addition to teaching your children about how to give, it's important for you to learn how to best donate your money and to choose which charities you'll be supporting. There are millions out there—how do you know which is right for you? Jean talks to Art Taylor, CEO of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, about how to choose causes that are not only worthy, but financially savvy.
Understand that you are the first line of defense against unscrupulous charities.
Always ask for information, Art says. Never give just as the result of an unsolicited phone call. You'll find you'll cut down on a huge number of unscrupulous causes.
Think in terms of the types of organizations you want to support. There are many categories of causes—sit down and make a plan.
Look for organizations that address the problems you want to help.