6 Ways To Teach Your Kids The Value Of Giving

This post has been sponsored by Goodwill® and Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers stores across the U.S. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Whenever the weather changes, I have the urge to clean house – literally. I love to go through the closets, the kitchen and the kids toys to see how we can get rid of items to that we’re no longer using to make our existence a little lighter. In doing so, I always make it a point to donate the useable items to Goodwill®.

6 ways to teach kids the value of giving - The Everyday Mom life

Throughout life I’ve believed in giving to others – whether it’s just extra change in my purse or a bag full of clothing. I’m a big advocate of trying to always pay it forward. As my kids get older, I want to teach them the value in giving to others and how in being altruistic you can be a better person while helping to make someone else’s day a bit brighter. Here are six ways I’m going to teach my kids the value of giving:

Donate goods or money

In partnership with Goodwill, I decided it was time to actively start exposing my children (who are 2 and 5) to the value of giving. As I mentioned each season I go through closets throughout the house and find items that are still in good condition to be donated. Donating is one of the easiest ways you can teach children to be altruistic in life and it is also one of the easiest, especially when you have children that are constantly growing out of things.

This fall the Bon-Ton Goodwill Sale had just started when we decided it was time to donate. The event is the largest and longest standing cause-partnership and department store donation drive for Goodwill. It gives shoppers the opportunity to make a positive impact by donating items for Goodwill at their Bon-Ton (or affiliate store) in exchange for coupons to be used on merchandise during the sale, which runs from September 13 – Saturday, Sept. 30 this year.

One, up to 30 percent off coupon is given per item donated and the great thing about the sale is that if you don’t have anything to donate, you can give $1 at any register to receive a coupon toward a purchase.

Be a good example

Children often learn by observing and modeling their parents’ behavior. From a very young age you can see this taking place as they pick up all your habits – good or bad. If you want your children to be altruistic, be a good example for them and show them how you give throughout the year.

6 ways to teach kids the value of giving - The Everyday Mom life

Discuss opportunities to give or lend a helping hand and make them a part of the experience, or if they’re too young to participate in something talk to them about it afterwards and why donating time, money or goods is a positive thing to do for all people.

This year I decided to bring the kids with as we donated the items to the Bon-Ton Goodwill Sale, which included their baby toys. I was impressed by their ability to hand over some items that will still catch their attention sometimes but are really far past the age for them to find them fun on a regular basis. Here’s how our experience went:

We had a fun experience shopping at Carson Pirie Scott, which is owned by Bon-Ton Stores Inc. The store was in great condition on the Sunday morning that we went shopping with our coupons from the sale and the staff was all very helpful. We bought some new work clothing for my husband and a few shirts for my daughter using the 30 percent off coupons on each item. I plan to go back (ALONE) to do a little more shopping for myself before the sale ends.

Let them help decide 

If you’re donating clothing, toys or other items to Goodwill, let your children help decide what goes and what stays, especially if it’s their stuff. This will help them to see that once they’ve outgrown something, others may still benefit from it.

That said, sometimes you need to coach them. Obviously if their clothing is too small it’s moving on to a new home, but when it comes to toys, bedding or even small furniture items in their room, let them pick what stays and what goes. Explain if they haven’t used it in a while that it might be time to give that item to another child who would use it more and love it just the same.

6 ways to teach kids the value of giving - The Everyday Mom life


If your children are a little bit older and might not have as much clothing or toys to give, volunteer and let them pick an organization that the family donates its time or services to. For example, let them pick among helping in a soup kitchen, helping to build a house or picking up trash along the highway.

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This way they feel like they have a voice in the decision and a say in how they’re spending their time. Not only that but it gives them a chance to try multiple activities and find one they’re really passionate about.

Get their hands in it

No matter how old a child is, let them somehow help when it comes to giving.

As I already mentioned, we had our kids come to the Bon-Ton Goodwill Sale this year, but we also had them help us pack the bags of clothes we donate to Goodwill. Just this simple act involves them in giving right from the start. Even if they don’t necessarily get the purpose of their actions, you’re building a foundation for future giving.

6 ways to teach kids the value of giving - The Everyday Mom life

For older kids this will let them see how they can make an impact firsthand and possibly inspire them to do more. In an article in Psychology Today, psychotherapist Sean Glover said he has seen children make sudden “leaps” in maturity due to learning to be altruistic. He states involving kids in volunteering and giving activities increases their personal happiness, fosters interconnectedness, strengthens personal identity and inspires a sense of mission.

Overall volunteering teaches even young children compassion, empathy, tolerance, gratitude and responsibility for their community.

Do it together 

Giving together as a family is important for the family unit. It allows kids and parents to spend quality time together while doing something to help others. It’s a great way for families to actually get to know one another better, especially when your children are teenagers and might not be as forthcoming around you. It also cultivates empathy and helps even young children to recognize and appreciate their lives.

For young kids, teens and really up through adulthood, volunteering or donating together can be a family bonding experience.  And, it can become a family tradition that will build positive memories for a lifetime.

6 ways to teach kids the value of giving - The Everyday Mom life

Do it often

Consistency is often key with kids. Being able to be charitable doesn’t always have to be about giving something away or even donating your time. Being charitable can mean so many things.

Here are some ways families can make a difference together on a regular basis:

20 ways families can volunteer and donate together - The Everyday Mom Life

What are some ways you are working to teach your children the value of giving?

The Bon-Ton Goodwill Sale is running now through September 30. The sale takes place in the fall and the spring so you have two chances each year to give. The company goal is to collect more than two million pounds of donations, which will provide approx. 275,000 hours of job training services to benefit Goodwill’s job placement and training programs.

To find your nearest Goodwill career center, store or donation center, visit www.goodwill.org and to learn more about Goodwill’s mission, visit http://www.goodwill.org/find-jobs-and-services/

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Everyday Mom Rachel
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  • Terri Beavers September 20, 2017 09.02 pm

    I’ve been teaching the grandkids the value of giving. I try to lead by example. I’m going to use all of your tips to help me in the future.

  • Jeanine September 20, 2017 09.19 pm

    Donating toys or clothes that haven’t been played with in a while or clothes haven’t been worn in a while is good because the kids can see that someone in need can benefit from them.

  • Mimi September 20, 2017 09.28 pm

    Such a nice post, it is so important in this age that kids learn how to give. 😀

  • Jamie September 20, 2017 09.37 pm

    I love all these ideas. We recently did a lemonade stand for charity. We made a lot more money than if we did it for personal gain, taught the kids about economics and business while raising money for two friends in need of medical assistance. Such a great post- we need more people teaching their kids about selflessness and giving!

  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh September 20, 2017 10.01 pm

    My daughter belongs to a homeschool group where they volunteer at nursing homes in our area. The kids get a lot of feel good out of it, and the seniors get a much needed interaction. It’s a great program, and I’m glad to be involved.

  • Alison September 20, 2017 10.49 pm

    These are so lovely, and such great things to teach kids about!

  • Caitlin Culver September 20, 2017 11.18 pm

    Such a great lesson to learn! I love the idea of leading by example and showing kids how to be caring and compassionate through giving to others.

  • Amanda Wyman September 20, 2017 11.22 pm

    Teaching children humility and to be active in their communities is so important! Thanks for the helpful tips!

  • Kate September 21, 2017 12.08 am

    What a great message! I was lucky to have parents that fully believed in the value of giving and volunteering and taught us as much as young kids. Passing this along to all my mama friends!

  • Innana September 21, 2017 03.15 am

    Going to book mark this for when my boys are a little older. Def want to teach them good habits like this early on.

  • AnnMarie John September 21, 2017 04.07 am

    I usually include them in charities or the donations and things like that, it’s really important for me to teach them about giving and about having compassion towards others that need it. These are wonderful ideas!

  • Kimberly September 21, 2017 06.48 am

    Such great ideas! I am doing this with my kids at Christmas!

  • Whit Devereaux September 21, 2017 01.37 pm

    It’s so important to teach our children the power in giving. We usually donate our clothes and toys to a nearby drop off box and recently our church donated supplies to Hurricane Harvey survivors. I took the kids to the store with me to help me pick out items to donate.

  • Terri Steffes September 21, 2017 03.33 pm

    I do the same thing! I have challenged myself to clean out a drawer a day. I’m so excited that I have been able to do this!

  • Shannon Gurnee September 21, 2017 06.25 pm

    Usually right before the holidays, we have our kids go through their stuff and give stuff away. I’m always amazed at the generosity I see from them.

  • Amanda Dorich September 21, 2017 11.01 pm

    Bon Ton’s Goodwill Sale is one of my favorites all year. I love cleaning out my closet and donating to a good ccause!

  • Cindy Ingalls September 22, 2017 12.23 am

    My mom taught us from a young age that it was important to give back to others. I think it’s great to start young and get your kids involved in helping others at home and abroad.

  • Rebecca September 22, 2017 12.51 am

    This is such a great post! My son is still little but I try to set an example for him by letting him see me and his father helping others and letting him get as involved as he’s able.

  • Brittany September 22, 2017 01.14 am

    This is a timely and relevant post for me and my family. My oldest is four and I want to make sure he understands and appreciates his blessing and gives back to those less fortunate. Great tips!

  • Tiffany Haywood September 22, 2017 12.30 pm

    These are such awesome way to be sure kids know that there is value in giving. I try to instill this into my children because I don’t want them to be concerned with what they get but what they give as well.

  • Kristen September 24, 2017 03.32 pm

    I continue to work on teaching my girls about the value of giving. We go through toys and clothes to give to goodwill and I hope to start volunteering since they are now older!

  • Brittany September 25, 2017 01.34 am

    I would love to work on these more with y kids. I have three boys and I want them to understand what it means to be a kind and loving person.

  • Tara H. September 25, 2017 11.22 pm

    We have been trying so hard to teach our kids about giving and donating. Thankfully they are learning from example and starting to be able to let go and give to others.

  • Dealman October 08, 2017 10.38 pm

    Great articles post share. I try to lead by example. I’m going to use all of your tips to help me in the future. Thanks for sharing, enjoy weekend.

  • Melissa October 13, 2017 12.54 am

    Love this article! I always tell and try to teach my kids to give and share. These ideas will be helpful.


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