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.

Family Connections: Advancing Help with a Mobile Healthcare Unit

Celebrating Family Connections and their achievements, including a new mobile healthcare unit.

One of our agency partners, Family Connections, has just achieved the status of a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC). 

This means that they won’t just continue to offer you top-tier mental health substance use services, but they will also collaborate with other community organizations and healthcare facilities to provide you with coordinated comprehensive support.⁠

Mobile Healthcare Units

One of the exciting new services now available to Family Connections’ CCBHC clients is a mobile healthcare unit, courtesy of their partnership with Newark Community Health Centers (NCHC). This mobile unit will be onsite twice a month, offering services such as COVID vaccines, flu shots, internal medicine, and dentistry.⁠

This mobile unit represents a significant advancement in ensuring your overall healthcare needs are met.⁠

Family Connections is overjoyed about this partnership and the opportunity it brings for access to primary health care services right on their premises.

You can celebrate this achievement for Family Connections⁠ by following them on social media and keeping up with their agency news. 

Join us in making a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Your generous donation to the Holiday Fund can bring about transformative change. 

Give today, and be a part of this incredible journey of compassion and support.

5 Fun Ways Grandparents Can Leave a Legacy of Giving

Explore interesting ways grandparents can foster generosity in grandchildren, creating a meaningful legacy of giving.

The role of a grandparent in a child’s life is incredibly special and holds immense influence. As a grandparent, you have a unique opportunity to shape your grandchild’s character, instill values, and leave a legacy that extends far beyond material possessions. 

One of the most impactful legacies you can leave is teaching them the importance of giving and cultivating charitable habits. This not only helps create a more compassionate and caring individual but also contributes to a kinder and more empathetic society. The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is inherently powerful and intimate, making it an ideal platform for imparting such important life lessons. 

This article will explore various ways grandparents can inspire and nurture a spirit of generosity in their grandchildren, leaving a legacy that truly makes a difference.

5 Fun Ways Grandparents Can Leave a Legacy of Giving

1. Model Generosity

Modeling generosity is vital in child development as it cultivates empathy, instills moral values, and promotes gratitude. It’s simple: children learn by observing adults! 

When they see adults being generous, it teaches the value of community cooperation and sets a positive example for children to emulate, shaping them into compassionate individuals.

Meaningful Way to Instill Giving

Does your family legacy include a rich history of philanthropic deeds? Share about the generous acts that have shaped your family’s story over the generations. If possible, explain how these acts of kindness left their imprint on the world.

2. Volunteer Together

Volunteering promotes empathy and understanding of others’ circumstances, vital for developing a giving nature.  This firsthand experience helps kids of all ages understand the struggles faced by others, fostering compassion and a desire to help. 

Also, volunteering together nurtures a giving nature, encouraging children to contribute positively to their communities and beyond. This sense of social responsibility, once developed, often extends beyond the volunteering experience, influencing other areas of life as well. 

Volunteerism in Action

Find a local agency that has volunteer opportunities for “kids” of all ages — from your youngest grandchild to you! If you’re in the New Jersey area, consider contacting one of our partner agencies and helping at the Nutley Family Service Bureau Food Pantry or Family Service League, or one of the other 9 agencies we support.

3. Set up a Charity Jar

This creates a visual representation of the act of giving, serving as a tangible reminder of the importance of giving. It allows children to see their contributions accumulate over time, reinforcing the notion that every little bit helps. 

This hands-on approach not only makes the concept of charity more accessible but also makes the act of giving a routine part of their lives. Furthermore, it can spark conversations about charity, generosity, and the impact of their actions on the wider community.

Giving in Action

Choose a transparent jar and position it in a visible spot for everyone to see. Think about marking levels on the side of the jar to track the growing contributions. Set up friendly contests to fill up the jar before a specific event, such as a holiday or birthday. 

4. Involve Kids in Charitable Decisions

Allowing your grandkids to play a part in charitable decisions helps them to understand the thought process behind giving. In addition, it helps to remind them of their value and involvement, fostering a sense of responsibility. Moreover, it cultivates a culture of generosity in their hearts, preparing them to be thoughtful and giving individuals in the future.

Explain Your Why

Talk with your grandchildren about the causes you back and why they matter to you. Explain how your donations help and the real changes they make. If you’re a supporter of a Greater Newark Holiday Fund partner agency, share their website and explore the good work happening in Newark thanks to these initiatives.

5. Read Books about Giving and Kindness

Literature can be a powerful tool in shaping behaviors and values, including generosity. 

Grandparents reading to their grandchildren is a powerful bonding experience that imparts valuable life lessons and wisdom. These shared moments can shape a child’s understanding of the world, foster empathy, and instill important values. Additionally, these sessions enhance a child’s mind, imagination, speech, and cultivate a lifelong love for reading and learning. The impact of these shared experiences can profoundly influence a child’s life. 

Books to Read Today

To influence your grandchild in the area of giving and generosity, numerous books beautifully illustrate these concepts. In addition to the ones listed in a recent article called Cultivating Generosity in Kids: Inspiring Giving Through Reading, consider an old favorite: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This classic picture book explores the selfless love and generosity of a tree for a boy as he grows up and demonstrates empathy and the enduring power of unconditional giving and the profound impact it can have on our lives. 

Learn more about our partners: Impact by the Numbers: Family Service Bureau’s mental health sessions

Leaving a Legacy of Generosity

The role of a grandparent is not just about spoiling grandchildren with love and treats; it’s about shaping their character, instilling values, and leaving a legacy of generosity. To support you on this incredible journey, we have created a guide called 10 Ways to Raise Kids to Give, filled with practical tips and strategies. 

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to positively impact the kids in your life. Click here to download our free guide now and start nurturing a spirit of giving in your grandchildren today. 

Remember, the legacy you leave is the life you lead. Let’s make it count!

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ: Feeding Hope by Delivering Meals to Those in Need

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey makes an impact by delivering meals to thousands.

Amazing news from Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey! A team of 46 dedicated volunteers have made a significant impact in our community by delivering an incredible 4,729 meals to over 180 clients.

Delivering Meals And Support

Each meal delivered is a message of care, support, and community solidarity. These volunteers are not just delivering meals, they’re delivering hope and comfort to those who need it the most.

This initiative exemplifies the spirit of giving and shows how every act of kindness can create a ripple effect of positive change. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the hard work and dedication of these volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their service.

To each of the 46 volunteers – thank you for your selfless service. Your efforts are truly making a difference!

Donate To Provide Essential Help

Did you know that a gift to the Holiday Fund directly benefits critical organizations like Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey? Each donation you make has a profound impact, providing essential aid to those in New Jersey who are most in need. Your contribution to the Holiday Fund isn’t merely a monetary gift; it’s a lifeline for those seeking hope. Spread hope by donating online today.

Family Service League: Celebrating Steps Towards Healing Through Counseling

Family Service League is pivotal in combating domestic violence by providing critical counseling sessions amidst high abuse rates.

In a world where the prevalence of domestic and family violence is alarmingly high, it’s organizations like the Family Service League of Essex County that play a pivotal role in fostering change. Let’s take a moment to recognize their recent contribution of successfully provided 871 counseling sessions to domestic violence/family violence clients.

Counseling For Justice

This is more than just a number, it’s a testament to the dedication and compassion of those working tirelessly to support individuals dealing with hardship. Each session represents a step towards healing, empowerment, and change. They symbolize the courage of survivors, the dedication of counselors, and the power of a community that refuses to be silent in the face of injustice.

The Critical Importance of Counseling Services

The importance of these counseling services cannot be overstated. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This equates to more than 10 million women and men each year. In the face of such staggering statistics, the work done by organizations like the Family Service League becomes all the more critical.

Support Family Service League And Others

As we celebrate the remarkable achievements of the Family Service League of Essex County, let’s remember that their work is made possible through the generosity of individuals like you.

The Holiday Fund supports the FSL and ten other organizations that provide crucial social services in New Jersey. These services range from counseling sessions for survivors of domestic violence, to food pantries for those facing housing insecurity, addiction, and so much more.

Donate to the Holiday Fund today and become a part of this wave of change. Together, we can make a difference.

Introducing New Community Career & Technical Institute: Empowering Students For Success

New Jersey post-secondary school is dedicated to empowering students for success in fields like allied health, building, automotive, and culinary arts.

One of the Holiday Fund’s esteemed partner agencies, New Community Corporation, is proud to operate New Community Career & Technical Institute (NCCTI), an accredited post-secondary school dedicated to offering comprehensive training in various fields, empowering students for success. At NCCTI, they are committed to bringing relevant and affordable programming to the community, with a focus on allied health, building trades, automotive, and culinary arts.

A Conducive Learning Environment for Educational Excellence

NCCTI strives to provide an educational environment that is conducive to learning. Faculty members are experienced professionals who are passionate about their fields and dedicated to equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. NCCTIs understand that each student has unique educational goals, and they are eager to help you map out a plan for your career path.

Comprehensive Supportive Services for Student Success

As part of the New Community Corporation (NCC) family, NCCTI is able to offer additional supportive services to our students. These services include family and individual counseling, access to an emergency food pantry, transitional housing information, assistance with accessing a credit union, financial literacy and planning, and specialized training opportunities. NCCTI believes that comprehensive support is essential for student success, both inside and outside the classroom.

Stretching Beyond Limits: Expand Your Capacity and Development

NCCTI believes that education should not only be a means to acquire knowledge but also an opportunity to stretch beyond one’s limits and expand personal capacity and development. The school provides a safe and inclusive environment where students can explore their interests, discover their talents, and unlock their full potential. They encourage our students to embrace challenges, take risks, and push themselves to reach new heights.

Connecting with Prospective Students: NCCTI Holds Open House

Recently, NCCTI held an open house event to connect with prospective students interested in their programs. The event was a tremendous success, allowing potential students to learn more about the courses offered, meet faculty members, and get a glimpse of the vibrant learning community at NCCTI.

New Community Career & Technical Institute is committed to empowering students for success. Whether you aspire to work in the automotive industry, building trades, healthcare, or culinary arts, the institution here to support you in fulfilling your educational goals and achieving a rewarding career.

New Community Corporation: Celebrating Resolved Crisis Intervention Cases

Let’s take a moment and recognize the accomplishments of New Community Corporation. This NJ-based agency recently celebrated the successful resolution of 57 Family Crisis Intervention Unit cases. 👪

Each case closing signifies a family that has overcome crisis and regained stability and hope. It’s also a testament to the dedication, hard work, and compassion of the team at New Community Corporation. Their relentless efforts have ensured that these families received the support they needed during their challenging times.

Join us in supporting organizations like New Community Corporation in their important work. Every case closed brings us one step closer to a community where every family can thrive, even in the face of crisis.

Supporting NCC and the other Holiday Fund agencies is easy – simply give online.

A huge thank you to the team at New Community Corporation – your commitment to serving families in crisis is truly making a difference! 🙏

The Art of Giving: The Life-Changing Stories Behind The Holiday Fund’s Support

Donations to the Holiday Fund enhance lives through transformative programs like STRIVE, serving adults with disabilities and contributing to incredible, life-changing stories.

These words by Maria Ashkenazi, Supports Director at Children’s Aid and Family Services, encapsulate the tremendous impact of the STRIVE Day Program on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and beautifully illustrates why your support to the Holiday Fund matters.

“It was such an enormous sense of achievement for the STRIVE members. They were so proud that the pieces they produced themselves were appreciated and purchased. It was a huge success.” 

The Holiday Fund is a fundraising organization dedicated to supporting eleven charities across New Jersey, one of which is Children’s Aid and Family Services (CAFS). When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you’re not just contributing towards a cause; you’re helping to create transformative experiences that empower individuals, enrich our communities here in New Jersey, play a part in writing life-changing stories.

The Power of Art and Achievement

This spring, the STRIVE Day Program hosted an art show featuring artworks created by its participants. It was a grand event, opened by Paul Aronsohn, the NJ State Ombudsman for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The offices of CAFS were adorned with the beautiful creations of STRIVE members, inspiring admiration and sparking friendly bidding wars among attendees.

The art show wasn’t just about showcasing talent. It was about instilling a sense of accomplishment and pride in the participants, making them realize their potential, and encouraging them to express themselves creatively. The joy and satisfaction evident in the STRIVE members were a testament to the program’s success and the positive change it brings about in their lives.

Celebrating CAFS: Impact by the Numbers: Children’s Aid & Family Services in 2023

Preparing for the Future

But the STRIVE Day Program doesn’t stop at providing creative outlets; it also equips its members with essential life skills. A few weeks before the art show, STRIVE support coach Akilah Williamson organized a job interview activity. With proper guidance on communication skills, body language, eye contact, and appearance, the participants came prepared, dressed appropriately, and carried their resumes for a mock interview.

At the end of the day, each participant received a certificate of achievement, a token acknowledging their successful completion of the process. For them, it was more than just a piece of paper; it was a symbol of an important accomplishment, a boost to their self-esteem, and a stepping stone towards future part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities.

Your Contribution Matters

When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you are supporting these amazing transformation experiences and much-needed organizations like Children’s Aid and Family Services. Your contribution helps create a ripple effect of positivity and empowerment that reaches far beyond the immediate beneficiaries. It helps build stronger, more inclusive communities where everyone has the chance to shine and contribute in their unique way.

Let’s continue to spread joy and hope by making a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Donate to the Holiday Fund today and be a part of this incredible journey of transformation.

The Holiday Fund Proudly Supports CAFS’ WISE Families Program: Expanding Support for Adolescents in Need

An Important Training Journey

In a significant development, the Children’s Aid & Family Services‘ (CAFS) WISE Families program is embarking on a crucial training journey in Oklahoma. This training aims to enable the implementation of ‘Problematic Sexual Behaviors Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents’, which will expand the program’s support services to individuals aged up to 18.

Applauding Dedication and Making a Difference

The Holiday Fund proudly applauds the dedication of the WISE program in their tireless efforts to make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable adolescents. By embracing this training opportunity, the program is demonstrating its commitment to providing essential support and care to those who need it most.

The WISE Program: A Beacon of Hope

Developed by Dr. Barbara Bonner and her esteemed colleagues at Oklahoma University’s Center for Child Abuse and Neglect, the WISE program stands as an evidence-based initiative that offers comprehensive assistance to families with children aged 8 to 15. Through a holistic approach encompassing assessment, education, treatment, and prevention strategies, the program aims to address and mitigate the impact of problematic sexual behaviors on both children and their families.

Expanding Support: A Step Forward

With the implementation of ‘Problematic Sexual Behaviors Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents’, the WISE program will now be able to extend its support services to individuals up to 18 years old. This expansion represents a significant step forward in ensuring that vulnerable adolescents have access to the critical care and resources they need during challenging times.

Sensitivity and Commitment

As we navigate this sensitive topic, we hold the utmost respect for the courage and resilience of those involved in addressing problematic sexual behaviors. We acknowledge and honor CAFS’ unwavering commitment to improving the lives of children and families in need. Together, we can create a brighter future and foster a society where every individual is safe, supported, and empowered.

Joining Forces for Lasting Impact

The Holiday Fund is honored to support CAFS and their mission to uplift and empower vulnerable adolescents. By joining forces with organizations like CAFS and backing initiatives like the WISE program, we can collectively make a lasting impact on the lives of those who need it most.

Together, let us work towards a future where all individuals, regardless of their circumstances, have the opportunity to thrive and flourish. Join the movement today when you donate to the Holiday Fund.

Family Connections’ CLEAN AND COOL Program: Empowering Youth Towards a Drug-Free Future

🌟 Spotlight on success! We’re absolutely thrilled to share that an incredible 97% of youth who attended at least 3 sessions of the CLEAN AND COOL program by Family Connections achieved abstinence from drugs! 🎉

CLEAN AND COOL is more than just a program, it’s a lifeline for young people grappling with substance abuse. It’s an adolescent substance abuse treatment and life skills training program that provides the tools and support needed to navigate life’s challenges and make healthy choices.

In addition to getting equipped to abstain from drugs, it’s about empowering our youth to take control of their lives and build a future they can be proud of. Each participant represents a story of determination, and transformation.

Great job, Family Connections and the CLEAN AND COOL program for your exceptional work in changing lives and shaping futures. Here’s to continuing this important work and making a difference in the lives of our youth. 🙌

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