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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!

Cultivating Generosity in Kids: Inspiring Giving Through Reading

Through the intentional reading of books about generosity, you can effortlessly instill this virtue in your children’s daily lives.

Instilling the virtue of generosity into your children’s characters may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The solution could lie within the simple act of intentional reading. By creating a family culture that integrates books about giving, selflessness, and generosity into your everyday routines, acts of giving can become second nature for your kids.

The Power of Books in Cultivating Generosity

Just as a book can spark a child’s desire for adventure or ignite their courage, books can also inspire children to give generously. Picture this: you’re reading the story of Shoebox Sam, a heartwarming tale loved by children of all ages. The main characters, Delia and Jesse, exemplified respect and generosity. As your child identifies with these characters, they begin to see themselves as individuals capable of those admirable qualities of giving and respect. This vicarious experience can have a profound effect, gradually integrating the spirit of generosity into their identity.

Whether you’re reading books together as a family or encouraging kids to read them on their own, these ideas will help you to incorporate books about generosity into your family culture right away. 

Books can be a powerful tool to inspire the virtue of generosity in our children. As they connect with characters and their acts of giving, kids start seeing themselves as capable of such kindness. This immersive experience can integrate the… Click To Tweet

6 Simple Ways to Incorporate Books About Generosity Into Your Family Culture

  1. Habit Stacking: Choose carefully selected books about generosity and integrate them into your daily routine. You can read excerpts while your family is engaged in routine tasks. Whether it’s during dinner, on car rides (perfect for audiobooks!), by the fireplace in the evening, or on the patio during summer, these moments are perfect opportunities to share narratives of generosity. Just five minutes of reading can make a difference.
  2. Join a Book Club: Participating in a local book club can be a fun way to introduce books about generosity into your family’s reading list. They offer a great platform for your kids to engage with others and share their thoughts about the books they’ve enjoyed. Plus, book clubs often provide a curated list of book recommendations, saving you time and ensuring a diverse range of material.
  3. Use a Variety of Reading Formats: In today’s digital age, the traditional hardcover book isn’t the only option. Audiobooks and e-books offer flexibility and convenience. In the car or while preparing dinner, an audiobook can keep your child engaged. Some people prefer listening to a story from this kind of format, and this variety can enhance the overall reading experience.
  4. Book-themed Family Discussions: After reading a book about generosity, initiate a family discussion about the story. Ask your kids about their thoughts, feelings, and what they’ve learned from the characters. This not only promotes critical thinking but also helps in internalizing the lessons about generosity.
  5. Create a Generosity Bookshelf: Dedicate a specific section of your bookshelf to books about generosity. Having a visually accessible ‘Generosity Shelf’ will serve as a constant reminder of the virtue you’re trying to instill. It can also make it easier for your children to pick a book whenever they feel like reading.
  6. Incorporate Book-related Activities: Extend the messages of the books beyond reading. For instance, if a book talks about donating toys to less fortunate children, encourage your kids to sort through their toys and choose some to donate. Activities like these help children apply the lessons they’ve learned from the books, reinforcing the concept of generosity.

Incredible Progress: The Incredible Progress of Tyler: A Story of Triumph

Respecting Reading Differences Within Your Family

An important factor to keep in mind as you incorporate books about generosity into your family culture is the diverse reading preferences among family members. Appreciation for the written word can take many forms, and it’s essential to provide options that cater to everyone’s tastes and habits.

E-books, for instance, might be a favorite for some family members. With their effortless accessibility and convenient features like highlighting or bookmarking, e-books can offer an enjoyable reading experience. They also eliminate the need for physical storage and are easy to carry wherever you go, making them an excellent choice for those who value convenience and portability.

On the other hand, audiobooks might resonate more with family members who enjoy auditory learning or those who find it challenging to carve out dedicated reading time. Audiobooks can be enjoyed while multitasking – during a commute, while cooking dinner, or even as a bedtime routine. For an enhanced listening experience, you could consider investing in a pair of comfortable earbuds. This allows listeners to immerse themselves fully in the narrative, absorbing the story without any distractions.

By acknowledging and accommodating these varying preferences, you’re not only promoting a love for reading but also fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels their choices are valued. This, in turn, can lead to more enthusiastic participation in your mission to instill the value of generosity through literature.

Building a Family Culture Steeped in the Virtue of Generosity

Whether you dedicate time every morning, during dinner, or three times a week to read together, these efforts will contribute to creating a family culture that values reading and the virtues conveyed in the stories.

Finding books based on themes such as generosity and selflessness is easier than ever, and they make excellent choices to support your mission of raising generous, giving children. 

By fostering a reading culture that emphasizes kindness and generosity, you’re not just raising children who love to read; you’re nurturing empathetic, compassionate individuals ready to make a positive impact on the world around them.

Embark on a journey of cultivating generosity with our handpicked selection of 10 inspiring books that beautifully highlight the virtue of giving. Download the list today and get started weaving generosity into your family’s everyday life.

The Power of Giving: How Your Holiday Fund Donations Support Catholic Charities of Newark

The Holiday Fund partners with NJ agencies like Catholic Charities, amplifying their community impact and highlighting the power of giving.

Every year, the Holiday Fund works to support charities across New Jersey. One of these organizations is Catholic Charities of Newark, an institution committed to serving those in need, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. When you make a donation to the Holiday Fund, you are directly contributing to the transformative experiences offered by eleven first-class organizations and supporting their vital work within our community, amplifying the power of giving.

Photograph by M. Christyanne Ward of MC Ward Images https://www.instagram.com/catholiccharitiesnewark/

A Celebration of Community and Service: The Annual Gala

Recently, Catholic Charities held its Annual Gala, a celebration of community, service, and the power of giving. The event was a resounding success, thanks to the contributions of sponsors, supporters, and attendees. The gala served as a reminder of the profound impact that Catholic Charities has on individuals and families across New Jersey.

During the evening, several partners were honored for their dedication and contributions to the organization. Among them was Scott Fields from Daybreak Express, SPRUCE Industries, Catholic Cemeteries, Ecclesia Ministries, and Holiday Express. Recognition was also given to Pierre Moreau, posthumously, with the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to his family. Patricia Tully and William Markey III were the recipients of the Spirit of the Heart Award. The night was made even more special with a fantastic performance by Chris Pinnella.

The Transformative Work of Catholic Charities

The Annual Gala showcased the transformative work done by Catholic Charities and its partners. From providing assistance to the poor, advocating for social justice, to offering over 100 programs that focus on various needs, Catholic Charities plays a crucial role in the New Jersey community.

More Holiday Fund Partners: Impact by the Numbers: Family Service Bureau’s Mental Health Sessions

The Power of Giving Exemplified by Donors

However, none of this would be possible without the support of donors like you. Every contribution made to the Holiday Fund goes a long way in supporting organizations like Catholic Charities. By donating, you can help continue the legacy of Pierre Moreau, support the efforts of individuals like Patricia Tully and William Markey III, and ensure that Catholic Charities can continue providing their much-needed services.

When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you’re not just making a financial contribution. You’re investing in the future of our communities, supporting organizations that make a real difference, and helping to create transformational experiences for those most in need.

Photograph by M. Christyanne Ward of MC Ward Images https://www.instagram.com/catholiccharitiesnewark/

Continue a Tradition of Giving

Join us in our mission to support these 11 critical charities in New Jersey. Your contribution can change lives, foster community development, and create a ripple effect of kindness and generosity across the state. Remember, every donation, no matter how small, helps. Let’s continue the tradition of giving and make a difference together.

Make a difference today by contributing to the Holiday Fund. Your donation will champion the ongoing efforts of transformative organizations like the Catholic Charities of Newark. 

Can Happiness Actually Be Bought?

Most of us can’t even remember the first time we heard the phrase, “Money can’t buy happiness” because we’ve been hearing it our whole lives. It’s been imprinted on our brains by well-meaning adults and leaders who’ve taught us to search for joy in places other than our earnings and possessions. And we agree, right?

What if science in the 21st century has proven that mantra untrue? What if there was data to back up the notion that resources and assets can, in fact, alter your mood and even your potential? Well, it has. 

It turns out that money actually can buy happiness.  The question is, how? 

For those with an eye for “stuff,” this sounds like great news. Should we all head to the local gas station and buy lottery tickets? Not if you’re looking for happiness. We’ve all heard the “riches to rags” stories from lottery winners who, years after achieving the dream and winning a treasure, lament their lost relationships and unexpected debt. Momentary happiness turns into confusion and discontent. 

Detailed in the fascinating TEDxCambridge talk by Michael Norton, research is shared to prove that spending money can result in happiness. Norton turns the idea on its head when he reveals this secret: Spending money results in happiness when the money is spent on someone else. This was proven true on a personal, professional, and even a recreational level. 

Norton and his fellow researchers gave money to students at the University of British Columbia– with some instructed to spend the money on themselves and others instructed to spend it on others. The results were consistent: those who bought something for themselves or pocketed the money weren’t any happier than before the experiment, but those who gave to others and engaged in prosocial behavior were happier.

When the researchers worked with teams of professionals, the same results were found: those who spent money on their co-workers were happier than those who spent the same amount on themselves. But an unexpected benefit was discovered: after the pro-social experience of giving to others, the teams actually performed better! The return on investment was staggeringly different depending on the spending direction, with teams spending prosocially seeing a 17 times higher ROI than teams who invested personally. Happier, connected teams achieved more success.

Another important finding was in the amount of money spent correlated to the happiness experienced. The data showed the specific way the money is spent and the amount of money isn’t nearly as important as the fact that money was spent.

“You can do small, trivial things and still get the benefits, ” says Norton. 

Finally, the research was tested among a group of intramural athletes: a dodgeball team. Did the data go out the window in a totally new context?

 Once again the data was consistent, with teammates achieving more happiness and even performing together on the court after the giving experience. 

How can your team benefit from this surprising research? 

  • Find ways to give to one another, building community (and success!) with your prosocial behavior. Pool your resources and find a charity to benefit from your giving. 
  • Choose a recipient as a group, looking to your organization’s mission and your team’s passion to direct your giving, or you can choose a new recipient every time a donation is made. 

The important thing is to give together! 

During the winter months, agencies with food banks and crisis support services need our help more than ever. Several of our agencies have food banks, and support of The Holiday Fund supports them. Click here to give now.