As summer ends and school begins, it’s the perfect time to inspire charitable giving in students of all ages. Whether your students are young or old, or you want to teach your children the importance of charitable giving, we have rounded up 10 creative ways to get students excited and engaged in charitable giving this school year.
1. Make a donation to your alma mater.
They gave you a lifetime of priceless knowledge, and now it’s time to pay it forward. Giving back to your alma mater will not only educate the next generation of students, it will also help those struggling to gain access to education due to a difficult financial situation.
Whether it is making a donation to your elementary, middle, or high school where you spent your early years, or giving back to your old stomping grounds at your post-secondary institution, your donation will help spark learning in the next generation.
2. Donate school supplies to your local elementary school.
You would be surprised to learn of the most basic items many classrooms are in need of, and would greatly benefit receiving. Crayons, pens, tissue boxes, egg cartons, or even paint, there are countless items always needed to keep classrooms across the country flourishing with access to the most basic resources.
To determine most needed items, call your local elementary school or high school and simply ask what resources or materials are in short supply and if they could use any of your gently used materials from around the house, or if they would benefit from any donations of new items you can easily pick up while running errands. Chances are, they would be delighted receive such generous support from their surrounding community.
3. Donate to a school in another country.
In Canada, we are lucky to have publically-funded education available to Canadian children across the country; but in some parts of the world, this widely funded education system is nonexistent. As children across Canada head back to school this September, consider donating to a charitable organization providing education to children in other parts of the world where education is not freely accessible.
4. Sign up to volunteer at your local school.
Giving doesn’t always have to involve donating money, in fact, giving can occur in a multitude of ways. Many schools are in need of generous volunteers to donate their time year-round to plan trips, organize activities, provide classroom or program support, organize school plays, musicals, and fun-fairs – the opportunities are endless!
5. Kick start a fundraiser at your child’s school.
Imagine the impact an entire school community can make when everyone bands together to make a difference. This school year, get in contact with your child’s teacher or principal to kick start a fundraiser at your child’s school for a charitable cause close to the heart of your school community — and you can also include CanadaHelps in part of the fun as well! By using a CanadaHelps Fundraising Page, funds can be collected easily and directly passed along to the recipient charity without any work on the part of school administration organizing the school-wide initiative.
6. Give an assignment to teach the value of giving.
In the spirit of learning, one of the best ways to teach the importance of charitable giving is to have students explore the sector themselves. If you are an educator, assign a project to your students requiring them to choose their favourite charity and research the organization’s mission, impact, and overall needs where support is most needed. The project can be adapted to students of all ages and can be used as a launching point to get young people interested and excited about the charitable sector. Students can even present their research based on their favourite charitable organization to their peers in an effort to share what they learned and open their eyes to other organizations doing great charitable work as well.
7. Launch a volunteer challenge!
In some areas of the country like Ontario, secondary students need to complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer work in order to fulfill mandatory high school graduation requirements. But what if school administration were to up the ante and spark a challenge among classmates all in the name of charitable giving? As part of the challenge, students can log and compete for the most volunteer hours all for a grand prize up for grabs. After all, who doesn’t love competition while having fun and giving back at the same time?
8. Organize a charity field trip to a local charity or non-profit.
Remember the feeling when a big, yellow school bus would pull up in the school parking lot to whisk you and your classmates away on a day trip filled with adventure and fun? Now as an educator, tie the fun to charitable giving and get your students excited about the charitable sector by visiting a local charity or non-profit. The act of witnessing a specific need or purpose being addressed by community leaders will inspire your students to choose an issue of their own and make a difference in their own unique way. By witnessing the impact of an organization, your students may even be inspired to get involved and help the organization work towards achieving their charitable mission by volunteering or fundraising. No matter how young or old, the experience of visiting a charity in person will ignite a spark, and inspire charitable giving.
9. Pair up families in need.
Just like the holiday season, there are oftentimes many families in need of support around the back-to-school season; after all, the cost of school supplies adds up quickly when providing children with the supplies and resources needed to kick start a successful school year. From protractors to calculators, books, dictionaries, and lunch bags, there are countless supplies kids need to succeed in school, including a new outfit for the first day of school!
10. Donate a ‘first day of school outfit’ to your local shelter.
Remember your first day of school and how exciting it was to pick out the perfect outfit to set the year off right? While shopping for school supplies take a trip down the clothing aisle and purchase an outfit from top to bottom to donate to a local shelter. Your donation will help set the year off right and spark an ounce of self-confidence in a child needing support during a difficult time.
No matter how you choose to teach your students or children the importance of charitable giving, there is an even larger movement you can involve your students in to expose them to the power of philanthropy.
Have another idea about how to give back this school year? Tweet your ideas to us @canadahelps!