Monthly Archives: December 2023

Raise the Change: How to Cultivate Generosity at Home

Promote generosity at home by encouraging giving, using media examples, and discussing altruism.

Raising children offers an incredible opportunity to shape their perspective, character, and habits, ultimately influencing the kind of adults they become. Among the many values we can instill in our children, generosity stands out as a trait that can have a profound impact on their lives and the world around them. 

Whether your children are just starting to grasp the concept of sharing or they’re older and beginning to understand the broader implications of giving, it’s never too early or too late to start the conversation about generosity. 

In this article, we explore ways you can cultivate a spirit of generosity in your children, setting them on a path toward a lifetime of giving. In addition, we’ll provide a few conversation starters to help you get the ball rolling. 

Understanding Generosity: Explaining the Concept to Kids

Children often learn best when ideas are clearly explained and modeled for them. Discussing the concept of generosity in simple, relatable terms can help children understand its importance. In a White Paper prepared by the Great Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, researchers found that parenting:

“…plays a role in cultivating generosity. Some studies have found that various parenting practices—particularly role-modeling and discussing generosity—may help children grow up to be more generous adults.”

It’s clear: parents can significantly influence their children’s understanding and practice of generosity. This is a concept most people would agree with; the question is how can it be done in lasting and meaningful ways?

Promoting a Culture of Generosity at Home 

Creating a home environment that celebrates sharing can significantly nurture a spirit of generosity. This can be achieved through various activities that involve the whole family, such as volunteering, shopping for those in need, serving the community together, or opening your home to others. Each of these practices contributes to establishing a family culture centered on giving.

Volunteering allows children to experience the joy and fulfillment of helping others firsthand. Collecting items to donate to an individual or organization can create memorable moments and strengthen family bonds. Serving together as a family fosters a sense of unity and compassion, which can have a profound impact that lasts a lifetime. Lastly, inviting others into your home provides a tangible example of treating everyone with respect and equality, particularly those in need. All these experiences work together to instill a deep, lasting understanding of generosity in young minds.

Teaching Generosity Through Media

In the same White Paper by UC Berkeley, it was reported that: 

“Other studies have found that engaging with media—including television, music, and video games—that have prosocial messages may lead people to behave more generously.”

Children will be thrilled with this news! Contrary to the usual advice of limiting screen time, here’s an instance where parents will be encouraging it.

By conducting straightforward searches online, you can find a wealth of media content that carries a positive message. This could range from books and TV shows to YouTube channels, all capable of making a beneficial impact. Let’s explore some of our top picks:

Mr. Beast on YouTube

Also known as Jimmy Donaldson, Mr. Beast is a popular YouTuber who is well-known for his large-scale donations on his channel. He often gives away substantial amounts of money or valuable items to random individuals, friends, or charities, demonstrating his commitment to generosity. Check out his Beast Philanthropy channel for more information. 

‘The Tomorrow Children’ Video Game

The Tomorrow Children is a video game that promotes generosity through its unique gameplay mechanics. It emphasizes collective progress, where the actions of each player contribute to the group’s advancement, fostering a sense of community and selflessness. The game’s shared resources and cooperative building aspects require fair distribution and teamwork, teaching players the importance of sharing and the impact of their decisions on the whole group. While playing, users of all ages can learn about the importance of cooperation, sharing, and selflessness, key aspects of generosity.

‘The Incredibles’ Movie

While children might not possess superpowers like the Parr family in The Incredibles, they can still learn valuable lessons about contributing to their community using their unique skills and possessions. Just as the Parrs used their special abilities to protect their city, children can use their treasures and talents in various ways. This could be as simple as creating a lemonade stand fundraiser, performing songs at a local nursing home, or any other activity or act of generosity that benefits others. The key takeaway is that everyone has something special to offer, and even the smallest actions and amounts can make a significant impact on our communities.

Regardless of the type of media your child gravitates toward, it’s possible to find models of kindness and generosity. By doing so, you can integrate these positive examples into their regular media consumption, seamlessly weaving lessons of charity and giving into their daily routine.

Discuss Generosity

Finally, let’s explore some conversation starters that will help to easily incorporate discussions of giving and generosity into your daily routine. Whether you’re seated around the dinner table, in the car on the way to school, or hanging out by the pool, pick a question and see where the conversation leads. 

5 Discussion Starters for Elementary Kids

  1. Story Time Reflection: “Remember the character in the story we read last night? How do you think their act of sharing helped their friend? Can you think of a time when you did something similar?”
  2. Daily Observations: “Did you notice anyone doing something kind at school today? How did that make you feel? How do you think it made the other person feel?”
  3. Future Actions: “If you found a bag full of toys that someone lost, what would you do? Why?”
  4. Role Play Scenarios: “Imagine if you had superpowers like our favorite superhero. How could you use them to help others around you?”
  5. Gratitude Practice: “Can you name three things you’re thankful for today? Is there a way we could share something we have with someone who might need it?”

10 Discussion Starters for Middle School and High School Students

  1. Personal Experiences: “Can you recall a time when someone’s act of kindness made a significant impact on your day? How did it make you feel?”
  2. Current Events: “Have you read any news stories recently about people making a difference in their communities? What can we learn from them?”
  3. Volunteering Opportunities: “Are there any volunteering opportunities at school or in the community that you’re interested in? Why do they appeal to you?”
  4. Career Goals: “How do you think you can incorporate generosity into your future career path?”
  5. Philanthropy Discussion: “If you were given a large sum of money to donate, which cause would you support and why?”
  1. Role Models: “Who is someone you admire for their generosity? What specific actions have they taken that inspire you?”
  2. Empathy Practice: “Can you think of a situation where showing empathy led to an act of kindness? How did that make you feel?”
  3. Gratitude Reflection: “What are some things you’re grateful for? How might you give back in appreciation?”
  4. Ethical Dilemmas: “If you saw a friend being unkind to someone else, what would you do? How could you promote kindness in that situation?”
  5. Social Justice: “How can acts of generosity contribute to social justice? Can you think of any real-world examples?”

Engaging kids in conversations about generosity and giving can have a profound impact on their development. These discussions not only foster empathy and kindness but also cultivate an understanding of social responsibility. They learn that even small acts of giving can make a significant difference, instilling in them the values of compassion and community service. 

This kind of dialogue also allows children to reflect on their actions and understand the feelings of others better, encouraging them to think critically about how they can contribute positively to their communities. Ultimately, these conversations about giving can shape children into more empathetic and generous individuals, preparing them to become responsible and caring adults.

Generosity at Home Can Start Today

Fostering an environment of generosity at home can be a game-changer in your child’s growth and development. By integrating discussions about giving into everyday conversations, showcasing examples of kindness through media, and providing opportunities for them to practice these values, you’re setting the groundwork for a lifelong commitment to compassion and service. 

Remember, every act of giving, no matter how small, can make a significant difference. 

So, let’s raise the change and inspire our children to become the generous, caring individuals we know they can be. Get more ideas when you download the ebook 10 Ways to Raise Generous Kids.

Let’s cultivate generosity at home and watch as they transform not just their lives, but also the world around them.

The Significant Role of Family Service Bureau and Mental Health Care

We’ve been applauding the effective partnership between the Family Service Bureau and Mental Health Care since 1882.

In the heart of our community, an organization has been quietly making a significant impact. Established in 1882, the Family Service Bureau (FSB), an affiliate of New Community, has been serving the needs of the community for well over a century.

Family Service Bureau’s Work in 2021

In 2021, FSB conducted an incredible 4,976 individual mental health sessions. This commitment and effort reflect FSB’s unwavering mission: to preserve, educate, support, strengthen, and enrich family life through prevention, intervention, and community education programs that assist families, children, and individuals.

More Than Just Numbers

FSB is not just about numbers; it’s about lives transformed. As a licensed outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment center, FSB welcomes the use of medication-assisted treatment and psychiatric intervention. The organization’s primary aim is to provide each consumer with the resources needed to improve their quality of life.

Join The Holiday Fund In Supporting FSB

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund has been a steadfast supporter of FSB’s mission. Their contribution has been instrumental in enabling FSB to continue its vital work in the community.

The work of organizations like FSB is crucial to the health and wellbeing of our community. By supporting FSB, you’re helping to ensure that they can continue their vital work.

Consider making a donation today. Every bit helps, and your contribution could make a significant difference in someone’s life. 

Learn more about the Holiday Fund and show your support when you visit holidayfund.org.

BBQ For A Cause: A Community Gathering To Support Catholic Charities

The Cranford Knights of Columbus Council exemplified community spirit by hosting a barbecue to support Catholic Charities’ clients and staff.

Under a canopy of blue skies and gentle breezes, a special event took place in the fall of 2023: The Cranford Knights of Columbus Council #6226 hosted a barbecue for 75 Catholic Charities’ clients and staff. This was not just a day of good food and company, but an example of the community spirit that underpins the incredible work of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark (CCAN).

Serving Up Support

Everyone at the event enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers with all the trimmings, chips, cookies, and beverages. The coordination was led by Mr. John McKeary of the Knights, with Jerry Conheeney, Grand Knight, helping to serve the meal along with fellow Knights Jimmy Byrnes, Tom Cannon, Pat Burke, and John McKeary. Their dedication and service underscore the power of community involvement.

The Impact of Catholic Charities

CCAN plays a vital role in our community, offering support and services to those who need it most. Events like this barbecue provide not only a delicious lunch but also an important opportunity for fellowship. It’s a chance for organizations like the Knights to learn about the services being offered at the Catholic Charities clinic.

Support Catholic Charities

As we witness the remarkable contributions of Catholic Charities, we can all play a part in this transformative work. Your generous donation to the Holiday Fund can help sustain and expand these vital programs, making a significant difference in the lives of many. Together, let’s empower more individuals and create stronger communities.

Learn more about the Holiday Fund and show your support when you visit holidayfund.org.

The DREAM Program’s Impact On Domestic Violence Survivors

Let’s celebrate the DREAM program, which has significantly improved family bonding and communication among domestic violence-affected families.

Family Connections is an organization that has been instrumental in transforming lives within our community. Their DREAM program, designed for children exposed to domestic violence, has made a significant impact on families participating in it. The result? An amazing 100% improvement in family bonding and communication. That’s a statistic to celebrate! 

The Power of the DREAM Program

The DREAM program provides domestic violence survivors and their children with invaluable resources such as art therapy classes and counseling. These tools are not just therapeutic; they foster stronger family ties and open channels of communication. The program also extends group support to survivors and their children, creating a nurturing environment for healing and growth.

Collaborative Efforts Against Domestic Violence

Family Connections doesn’t work alone. The organization collaborates with numerous domestic violence shelters both within and beyond Essex County. By providing various resources to participants, Family Connections amplifies its efforts in combating domestic violence and its effects on families.

New Jersey Domestic Violence: Alarming Statistics

In 2019, New Jersey reported some concerning statistics about domestic violence:

  • 59,645 domestic violence offenses were reported by the police
  • Domestic violence murders increased by 3 percent compared to the previous year
  • Children were actively involved or present during 25 percent of all domestic violence incidents occurring in 2019
  • The number of domestic violence complaints that had prior court orders issued against the offender increased from 9,853 in 2018 to 10,761 in 2019
  • Alcohol and/or drugs were involved in 22 percent (12,898) of the reported offenses

These numbers underscore the importance of programs like DREAM, which aim to mitigate the effects of domestic violence on survivors and their families.

How You Can Help

The reality of domestic violence is a pressing issue that requires collective efforts. By giving to the Holiday Fund, a supporter of Family Connections, you are making a difference in the lives of families who are victims of domestic violence. Your support can help Family Connections continue to provide resources and programs like DREAM, contributing to stronger, healthier families in our community.

You can contribute to the continued success of Family Connections and ten other critical agencies in New Jersey by donating to the Holiday Fund

Your generous contribution will go a long way in changing lives and building stronger communities. Together, we can make a significant impact. Donate today at holidayfund.org/give.

YCS School Supply Drive: Empowering Children Through Community Support

Fellow organizations rally for a school supply drive supporting Youth Consultation Service programs.

The power of community shines brightest when we come together to support those in need. This was evident in September, when The Learning Experience and BELA Day Care in Hackensack rallied their resources for a noble cause.

A Generous Gesture

In an incredible display of generosity, these institutions collected school supplies for the Youth Consultation Service (YCS) programs. The dedication of staff and families who donated ensured that every child within YCS services received essential tools for their studies. From pencils to backpacks, no item was too small in this collective effort to support children’s education.

The Role of Youth Consultation Service

Youth Consultation Service plays a crucial role in our community. They provide necessary services to children and families, offering support in the form of mental health services, crisis intervention, and educational programs. Their work is vital in ensuring that every child has the opportunity to succeed, and the recent school supply drive only underscores their commitment to this mission.

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund

As we step into a season of heightened need for our 11 partner agencies, the support of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund becomes even more significant. This organization is a steadfast supporter of YCS, continually providing much-needed resources to help those in need.

Join Us in Making a Difference

We extend our deepest gratitude to YCS for their tireless work in our communities. However, the need for support remains high. Will you join us in making a difference?

You can contribute to the continued success of Youth Consultation Service and ten other critical agencies in New Jersey by donating to the Holiday Fund

Your generous contribution will go a long way in changing lives and building stronger communities. Together, we can make a significant impact. Donate today at holidayfund.org/give.

Making A Difference: Children’s Aid & Family Services’ Baby Basics Program

Celebrating the Baby Basics Program that distributed 350,000 diapers in Bergen, Essex, and Passaic counties.

The Impact of the Baby Basics Program

In Bergen, Essex, and Passaic Counties, an incredible 350,000 diapers found their way into the hands of low-income families. This impressive feat was made possible by the admirable efforts of Children’s Aid and Family Services’ (CAFS) Baby Basics program.

Baby Basics is more than just a diaper supply program. It provides free nutritional formula and diapers for babies, from newborns to two-year-olds. But it goes beyond physical needs, offering an essential safety net of emotional support and referrals. It serves low-income families living or working in Bergen County, helping them navigate their most challenging times.

Changing Lives in New Jersey with Children’s Aid and Family Services

Children’s Aid and Family Services is changing lives in New Jersey. Their work is not only about providing material assistance but also about creating lasting change in the communities they serve. By supporting this organization, you’re contributing to a brighter future for underprivileged families in these areas.

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund: A Pillar of Support

The Holiday Fund has been a proud supporter of Children’s Aid and Family Services, among ten other critical agencies in New Jersey. During the season of highest need, the Holiday Fund stands as a helping hand for those in desperate circumstances, providing the necessary financial backing for these agencies to carry out their vital work.

The Holiday Fund’s mission goes hand in hand with that of CAFS – we both strive to alleviate the burdens of the less fortunate and make a real difference in their lives.

Join Us in Making a Difference

We extend our deepest gratitude to CAFS for their tireless work in our communities. However, the need for support remains high. Will you join us in making a difference?

You can contribute to the continued success of CAFS and other critical agencies in New Jersey by donating to the Holiday Fund

Your generous contribution will go a long way in changing lives and building stronger communities. Together, we can make a significant impact. Donate today at holidayfund.org/give.

Empowering Communities Towards Financial Stability with Urban League of Essex County

Discover how Urban League of Essex County is driving financial stability in northern New Jersey communities. 

Shoutout to one of our dedicated partners, the Urban League of Essex County (ULEC). They’re making a significant difference in the community through their FREE monthly Credit Building Basics workshops and financial counseling. 

ULEC‘s mission is to empower low-to-moderate income households towards economic stability, and they are achieving this goal one workshop at a time.

The Impact of ULEC’s Financial Opportunity Center

The Urban League of Essex County Financial Opportunity Center has already aided over 500 participants in setting financial goals, improving banking habits, and preparing for retirement. This invaluable training has not only educated individuals but also created a ripple effect of financial growth in the community.

But, their programs are not limited to financial workshops.  The center is dedicated to providing financial capability education and coaching to individuals and families. The services offered range from job creation, teaching new skills, to educating the future. 

ULEC also provides early childhood education, employment services, food pantry, housing counseling, and more. These services are all aimed at empowering low-to-moderate income households towards economic stability.

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund: A Proud Supporter of ULEC

By contributing to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, you’re not just celebrating the achievements of over 4,000 residents and 800 students who’ve already benefited from ULEC’s Financial Opportunity Center programs. You’re also opening the gateway to financial independence for countless others.

Securing More Financial Futures Together

Let’s secure more financial futures together! You can help by donating to the Holiday Fund

Your contribution means so much to the community. It supports the continuation of ULEC’s transformative initiatives, providing the necessary tools for financial stability to those who need them most. 

Together, let’s create a brighter, financially secure future for all.

Your generous contribution will go a long way in changing lives and building stronger communities. Together, we can make a significant impact. Donate today at holidayfund.org/give.

Empowerment Through Education: Catholic Charities’ Job Training Impact

Catholic Charities’ job training has been empowering individuals with relevant vocational skills and significant hope.

Life is a constant journey of learning and growth. As we navigate through it, we realize the importance of empowerment and self-reliance. One organization that deeply understands this is Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark (CCAN). Their mission to foster empowerment, enhance livelihoods, and promote self-reliance is making a significant impact in our community, especially through their commitment to vocational training.

Celebrating Job Training

In 2021 alone, Catholic Charities of Newark devoted an extraordinary 1,674 days to job training. This effort empowered 206 individuals with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. Their days are spent not just teaching, but inspiring hope and instilling confidence in individuals who are eager to improve their circumstances and contribute positively to society.

The importance of this vocational training cannot be overstated. By equipping people with relevant skills, Catholic Charities is not only helping them find employment but also ensuring they have a sustainable way to support themselves and their families. It’s a game-changer for many lives.

The Impact of Job Training in the United States

Research shows that a full 40% of employees who don’t receive the necessary job training to become effective will leave their positions within the first year. That statistic highlights the critical importance of organizations like CCAN that provide vocational training. Such programs help bridge the gap, lower unemployment rates, and contribute to the overall productivity of the workforce.

Support Catholic Charities: Make A Difference

As we witness the remarkable contributions of Catholic Charities, we can all play a part in this transformative work. Your generous donation to the Holiday Fund can help sustain and expand these vital programs, making a significant difference in the lives of many. Together, let’s empower more individuals and create stronger communities.

Learn more about the Holiday Fund and show your support when you visit holidayfund.org.