The Truth about Kids & Money: Our First GivingCube Project!
T’was the night before Thanksgiving….(sorry, wrong holiday!) A night when excitement is high and families all over the US are gearing up to reunite with family and friends to stuff their faces with good food and laugh over new and old memories. It’s also the time of year when giving back to those less fortunate is top of mind and a great time to start the “giving back” conversation with your kids. I tried this year…….not sure I was 100% successful.
It’s not lost on me that my boys are growing up in a rather privileged/lucky/blessed home; where food is not wanted for, they have a roof over their heads, family and friends who love them beyond words, vacations and experiences that some will only dream of and live in a great town with so much to offer. The question is how do I start teaching them about giving back to others that don’t have nearly as much as they do. For young kids, I don’t think it’s innate in them, at least not mine! I mean, asking a 3 and 5 year to SHARE their toys with friends doesn’t always go over well so when you ask them to give their money or toys to someone they don’t know, things can quickly go awry. It’s not an easy concept to understand so the work has to start EARLY, even if it’s lost on them in the beginning. I really believe, that if we start now, it will set the stage for a life of giving to others less fortunate. AND, the boys will remember these moments for years to come.
When I started MoneyCubez, I also came up with The GivingCube idea as a way to start teaching the boys about giving to others. I thought…..why not recycle the shipping box, decorate it and use that box to start saving money for others. Over the past few months, when they received money, they put a portion into their GivingCube and knew at the holidays we would buy food or toys for kids. We decided (actually I decided) that our first “donation” was going to be to The Bridgeport Rescue Mission. They are always accepting BLESSING BAGS, which are brown bags filled with snacks for grown ups and kids. I rallied my friend crew for Friendsgiving and asked each family to bring a part of the snack bag. This past Friday night, the boys and I headed off to Stop & Shop, they ripped open our first GivingCube and dumped it all into a Coinstar machine. $32 later, they purchased 50 juice boxes and two enormous boxes of Goldfish for their contribution to the Blessing Bags. I know they felt proud even if they didn’t truly understand yet what we were going to do with the food and juice. I mean, my 5 year old came home and said “can I have a juice box?”….I said “no, they are for kids that don’t have any”….it was only fitting that his 5 year old mind said “well, we don’t have any so I should have one now”……I had to laugh as this kid just wasn’t getting it. Someday, someday they will.
This past Saturday, my BFF crew and our families (10 adults, 14 children) gathered for a very chaotic Friendsgiving at my house. We managed to rally the crazies, create an assembly line and packed over 50 Blessing Bags. Mission accomplished! Delivery day was today and…………….we delivered the goods. The kids seemed confused and to be honest (since I always am), not all that impacted by what they were doing. The workers were super THANKFUL to them and gave them a quick tour of the donation warehouse where all of the donations come in. I think we just created a yearly tradition. It felt good, it was right and it is starting to set the stage for my boys to know and understand the importance of giving back. I HOPE it made an impact somewhere in their little brains, I just haven’t heard about it YET.
I can’t wait to hear all of your GivingCube stories. Please share them, I want to hear how you and your kids are making a difference in your community and the lives of others that are less fortunate. Cheers to a great 2019 Thanksgiving and stay tuned for our big Cyber Monday sale so every kid in your life can have a MoneyCube.