Philanthropy

In the minds of many children December is the month of receiving gifts, for any one of the many holidays we celebrate. It is a perfect month for teaching and modeling the act of giving. Philanthropy is a mindset and it can begin in childhood. Children are in a position to give many things generously. They can donate some of their new gifts, especially duplicates, to children in homeless shelters. Children are often sought as volunteers in various research projects. There are many PhD candidates in child psychology doing studies in empathy for instance. There are risk free medical research studies in many areas suitable for children’s participation such as eye movements in facial recognition. Children can participate in many acts of giving and support for various causes, such as juvenile diabetes, by joining ‘walks’, or becoming a pen pal with an elderly resident in a senior center or a child confined in the hospital. As Anne Frank famously said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” It is not necessary to reach adulthood before realizing that acts of generosity are soul satisfying. We encourage ARS students to be generous of spirit and from that it should be an easy leap to tangible generosity. Use this month to shift the focus from ‘what they will get to what they can give’.