Thursday, December 28, 2017

How To Get Organized After The Holidays

The holidays are a joyous time. All of that prep work and celebrating during the holidays brings joy and warm feelings to families all over the country.

Once they’re over, however, you might feel a little differently about the holidays. Remembering the organization and budgeting it takes to get your family back on track can bring feelings of a very different kind.

Getting back on track isn’t impossible, however. Follow these top tips for how to get organized after the holidays.

1. Clean out Your Refrigerator

After the holiday fun, you may have a lot of leftovers in your fridge. Not only do leftovers take up extra space in your fridge, holiday leftovers take the place of healthier foods. Instead of letting them take up space or ingesting the extra calories, take the time to clean out your refrigerator.

2. Ditch the Sweets.

They’re everywhere during the holidays so this one will be difficult to do, especially for
the kids. Although they (and maybe even you) may protest ditching them, your teeth and
health will thank you later.

You don’t need to throw spare sweets away. You could bring them to the office to share with coworkers. Another option is to teach your kids about community giving by creating care packages for those in need. 

3. Get Back on Your Exercise Routine

You might not have had time to exercise during the holidays. The season keeps many of us busy helping with school events and planning and hosting your own holiday parties. Now that the holidays are over, start again by making small goals, then gradually increase your goal until you’re back to your pre-holiday workout routine. Get your family involved by visiting local rec centers or gyms to play family-oriented games together.

4. Get Plenty of Sleep

With most holidays, you may begin to lose sleep. You and your family have so much fun, you don’t follow your normal bedtime routine. Your kids may protest at first, but getting everyone on the same bedtime routine as soon as the holidays are over will benefit everyone, including yourself.

Now that you have these great tips to get organized, you and your family will feel like your pre-holiday-selves in now time.

When it comes time to fundraise for your school or prepare spring events, contact Gifts ‘N Things. We have everything to keep you organized, no matter the season.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Simple Ways to Get Your Kids Involved in Holiday Gift-Giving

We want our kids to be generous, kind people. At this time of year, we peek around the mountains of holiday gifts and shout: “The joy is in the giving! It’s not just about getting presents!”

During a time when the gifts and treats abound, let’s not forget to turn the tables and encourage kids to participate in their own gift-giving. Kids are naturally generous, so enjoy these ways to incorporate children into the joy of giving this year.

1. Kid-friendly Shopping

With a few dollars in their pocket, children thoroughly enjoy picking out thoughtful gifts for those they love. Whether they’ve earned it themselves or parents give them some money to spend, it can be a novelty that allows them to finally give back. Organizing one of our Lil’ Shopper’s Shoppes puts everything in one place and fundraises for your school at the same time! Gifts are affordable for children to buy (down to $1) and the experience is geared toward kids; the whole process is easy to set up and operate. View some of our gifts and find out more!

2. Homemade Treasures

From handprints in clay, to decorated mugs, to special drawings, sometimes the arts and crafts are the most treasured gifts (and some of the only ones kept for posterity). Take an afternoon and try these brilliant crafts your kids can create as gifts.

3. Photo Gifts and Ornaments

Kids and adults alike love to see how kids change and grow from year to year. Begin a holiday tradition that captures that year’s memories. Photo calendars and photo books are a collection of the year’s special moments. Kids can choose the photos and even lay them out with some of the easier-to-use services. Fill out a funny end-of-year survey to capture what makes them tick. Or give the gift of annual ornaments; your family can collect them year after year and look back with fond memories each time they trim the tree.

4. Home-baked Treats

We dare you to show us a Grandpa who wouldn’t love a tin of homemade cookies! Get baking with your kids with easy recipes, then wrap up some of your treats in pretty boxes or tins for a yummy gift. Just be sure to do your baking right before the gift will be opened to ensure freshness.

5. Experiences

Part of making the holidays (and childhood) special is by creating lasting memories. Doing special activities with loved ones can be a memory-making gift – one that could easily turn into a tradition. Try ideas like a Sled-a-thon, where you test out all the nearby sledding hills, go to see A Christmas Carol on stage, plan a fancy tea party complete with gloves and petits-fours, or just sit back and let the kids decide!

From shopping for the perfect gift at a Lil’ Shopper’s Shoppe to creating a homemade masterpiece, kids will not only enjoy giving gifts, they will get to cultivate their natural generosity and holiday spirit.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Holiday Shop Success Made Simple with Help from Gifts ‘N Things

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the mere concept of planning a Holiday Shop for your school. There’s a lot that goes into a successful, well-run Holiday Shop : choosing gifts that are high-quality and popular, ordering the right amount of inventory, pricing it with a margin that’s not too low or too high, setting up the shop with tables, decoration, and more.

Luckily, that’s why we exist: we make our programs EASY and enjoyable for you! With over 40 years of experience, we know what goes into successful school fundraising and we’ve made it as simple as possible. Here’s how:

  • Well-priced, high quality gifts. 85% of our items are under $5.00, making our gifts ideal for school-aged shoppers. We even offer suggested retails at different profit levels with our handy price coding system - no more guesswork! Best of all, all of our merchandise is on consignment so you only pay for what you sell.
  • Easy setup, with our FREE supplies. We include everything you need to run and market your holiday shop, at no cost to your school. From hallway posters, to parent letters, budget envelopes, tablecloth to pre-priced tent cards for each item - it’s all included in your kit. New this year, we're offering an optional 37-piece decoration kit that includes aprons, hats and more to make your shop more festive!
  • Stress-free management through technology! We build tools specifically to make the organizer’s life easier. Our Cash Register App lets you easily check students out, including the ability to process credit cards. Our Chairperson Website is personalized specifically for you, and allows you to track materials, re-order inventory as needed, print support materials, and more.

Learn more about how we make school fundraising and holiday shops EASY by requesting your free info kit today, or download our brochure for more information.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Hidden Power of Smencils

Smencils are one of our most successful fundraising products! They are pencils that have a scent. There are many reasons to choose smencils instead of regular pencils this school year! Scent is proven to affect the user's mood and they are made from recycled material that is better for the Earth.

What are Smencils Made From?

When the idea of scented pencils came about in 2000, it proved difficult to scent wood. So, unlike regular pencils that are formed from trees, smencils are created with recycled newspaper. 172,000 Smencils can be made from just 430 newspapers! In this way, smencils are more responsible for the environment.

Besides smencils, we also offer smens! Smencils and smens are very fun products for kids to use at school and collect or trade with their friends. Once your child has one, they will certainly want more!

The Power of Scent
Smencils’ goal is not just to make writing fun, it is also to affect the user with the power of scent! Your sense of smell can trigger memories, make you hungry, and even boost your mood! Smencils release a scent that can be your child's favorite smell or remind them of a family vacation. It is said lemon can help a person feel more alert and focused. Try a lemon smencil for your student!

Another trick to try with your smencils is studying with one particular scent, say strawberry. Then when test time comes, use the same strawberry smencil. The words and facts you have studied will be more easily remembered when you harness the power of scent!

If you or your school is interested in selling smencils and are excited to get your hands on this popular product, the best distributor is Gifts 'N Things. We offer the absolute LOWEST price on the internet plus free freight! However, seasonal products sell out fast, so order early because there is a limited supply! VISIT or CALL: (800) 468-7511 today!

Monday, August 14, 2017

When is the Best Time to Start Your Fundraiser?

Pulling off a successful fundraiser involves so many decisions. You have to consider who your audience is, what kind of fundraiser to host, what the margins will be, how long you have to fundraise, and so many other things! One of the most important factors to consider, though, is the time of year you decide to hold your fundraiser.

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Picking the Right Season

There are pros and cons to running a fundraiser in any “season” of the year. Weather, competing events, and donor attitudes are all key elements. Check out this list and this fun infographic for a brief comparison of spring, summer, fall, and winter fundraising times.

December boasts the highest giving month of the year, but weather can be troublesome in some areas. Spring and summer are usually delightful opportunities for outdoor fundraisers, but competition can be stiff and vacations take away many donors.

Another topic to consider when choosing the time of year will be whether your organizers have ample time to lead and market your fundraiser appropriately. For example, the holiday season between November-December may mean your main participants are very overwhelmed. After all, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

When to Begin Planning

Planning is perhaps the only thing more important than when you host your fundraiser. Beginning to plan well enough in advance is the ticket to success. With summer vacation wrapping up soon and school starting just around the corner, the time to start planning your fundraiser is NOW - even if you won’t be hosting it until the winter or spring. You’ll be able to work on planning details here and there around your busy schedule over several months, rather than trying to throw it together crash-course style in a couple weeks. We all know, regardless of the season, life will always feel busy! Having a great plan in place is sure to help you reach your fundraising goals.

When it comes down to the best seasons to promote a fundraiser, our picks are simple:

  • Product Fundraising - Start in September or October. These fundraisers correlate best right after the "Back to School" season.
  • Holiday Shop - Between Thanksgiving and the Holiday break. These fundraisers can be done earlier in the school year, but this is the time that people have the holiday season on their mind. 
  • Thons - Spring is overwhelmingly the best time. Summer thons work well, too, but your kids will be out of school and will have a disadvantage in communication. Spring is also the time when people are most excited about being outdoors and most enthusiastic about joining a thon.

Planning can seem rather daunting and overwhelming, especially if you have a small group doing the work of organizing or if you’re doing it alone! Why not let Gifts ’N Things do what we do best? We’re professional fundraisers and we can help ensure planning is fun and stress-free for you! Click here to get your FREE informational kit so you can start your fundraiser off on the right foot, no matter the time of year.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Social Media Fundraising Made Easy

Creating a Facebook Event Page is a great way to get everyone connected, and it’s a lot easier than you may think. Below is a guide on how to set up your Facebook event and make it successful.

First, let’s start with the steps to take to create and invite people to your event.

Creating an Event

  1. Click Events in the left menu of your News Feed.
  2. Click Create Event in the top right.
  3. Click to choose between a private or public event. If you're creating a public event, you can set the event's host as yourself or a page you manage. You're not able to change the privacy settings once you've created the event.
  4. Fill in the event name, details, location and time. 
  5. Click Create. You'll be taken to your event where you can invite guests, upload photos, share posts and edit event details.

Inviting People to Your Event

If you're a host of an event, you can invite your friends. Event creators are automatically listed as hosts. As an event host, you can choose different privacy settings for who can see, join or invite guests to your event.
  1. Go to the event
  2. Click “Invite” in the top right, below the photo
  3. Search for and select friends to invite and then click “Send Invites”

Tip: Adding more hosts to the page is a great way for your friends to share the event with their friends and family.

What type of information should you add to the event?

You’ll want to add information that is light but informative and also grabs attention. If you are hosting a physical event or sale somewhere, give your guests directions and information about it. Invite friends to volunteer, if needed. Add plenty of pictures and use hashtags when posting them.



Creating a Hashtag

Using a hashtag for an event is a great way for people to share photos and stay connected! By using a hashtag in front of a word (also commonly known as a pound symbol), it creates a clickable link. By clicking on the link, you’ll see a feed of public posts that include that hashtag. To get your event hashtag trending, use it in all photos and posts so event members can join the talk as well!

Getting your Facebook friends involved in your fundraising efforts is a great way to promote your event. It’s also a quick and easy way to update everyone on special dates, deliveries, and more. Get people excited about your next Gifts 'N Things fundraiser with Facebook events. You’ll get the best results your organization, school, or group has ever had!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Life Skills Your Kids Learn From Fundraising

You might perceive fundraising as a pesky part of your child's schooling. When the catalogs of products roll out, it can be hard to envision much more than the work it will take for your child to raise the money expected of them. But hosting a fundraiser is more beneficial to your kids than you think. Here are some life skills your kids learn from fundraising.


Customer Service

Assisting individuals as they pick out which items they would like to purchase is a task most everyone in their lives have done at some point. Great customer service requires knowledge of the products, patience, honesty, politeness, and the ability to follow through on promises. What better way for your child to learn how to deliver great customer service than fundraising? This is a stepping stone to what will likely be a skill needed in their first job.

Financial Responsibility

coins-952540_640.jpgOftentimes, fundraising is one of the first opportunities your child has to experience handling a significant amount of money. Besides this, the important aspect of financial goal setting is introduced. Be sure your child takes on as much financial responsibility as possible during the fundraising process. They will gain a lot of confidence when it comes to dealing with money and learn some hard earned lessons about achieving, or not achieving, financial goals.



Communication skills do not develop in a classroom alone. Fundraising will surely advance your child's communication skills. It is not easy to ask adults or strangers for contributions. It is not easy to have the courage to speak in uncomfortable situations. Fundraising offers these life lessons for your child if you simply let them to take charge. You will be impressed with how poised your child can be speaking to an adult if you allow them the practice.

The next time your child's school begins a fundraiser, approach it as a learning opportunity for your child. Remember the positive aspects it will bring as it forces your child to grow into a more sophisticated and capable person.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Defeat Summer Boredom with These 7 Outdoor Activities

With summer fast approaching and school graduations abound, children will soon be heard collectively sighing, “I’m sooooo bored.” Though they won’t have classes and homework to keep them busy, that doesn’t mean they have to sit around all day like zombies forgetting everything they learned during the school year. Here are 7 FREE summer ideas that you can do with your children to help keep them active and entertained.


Go on a Quest

Did somebody say scavenger hunt? No? How about BEACH SCAVENGER HUNT?!? Head to the nearest beach with this list and have a scavenger hunt. With items like “something made out of metal” and “three different kinds of shells”, your trip can be informative while also adventurous. Bring an extra bag or two and help clean up any trash while you’re there. This will teach your kids conservation as well as keep them busy!

Camping at Home

Have an unexpected day off? Put the tent up in the yard and have an impromptu camping trip without the hassle of packing and travel.

Paper Airplane Contest

Help your kids learn about what makes airplanes fly and have fun at the same time. Check out these downloadable designs for some fast and easy paper airplanes and hold a competition in your backyard when the projectiles are complete.


Backyard Sock Puppet Play

Hark! Is that a young Shakespeare I hear? Follow these simple instructions to turn an old bed sheet into an impressive theater curtain. You can also find tons of cool puppet ideas on Pinterest. Let your kids write a script, pop some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Be Kind

With advancements in technology and instant entertainment abound, it is easy for children (and adults) to become self-absorbed. However, it’s also easy for us to be kind to our fellow man and give selflessly. Teach your children about acts of kindness by putting together care packages for troops, organize a food drive for your local food shelf, or set up a community cleanup project.


Paint the Town (or just your driveway)

Kids love to color. Sidewalk chalk is an incredible outlet for this. There’s little to no inside mess. Okay, this idea might cost a few dollars, but it is completely worth it. There are several recipes for sidewalk chalk, and when thinking about getting more bang for your buck, it is cheaper than buying boxes of it from the store. Plus, cleanup is a breeze. Just wait for the next rain storm.

Neighborhood Olympics

Do you have the next Usain Bolt or Michelle Akers living near you? Organize a neighborhood Olympics with fun races and obstacle courses and give prizes for the top spots.

School might be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean your kids need to stop exploring, learning, and being active. Take some of these fun ideas and get busy with your kids! When the time comes again to get busy raising funds for your favorite organizations, visit Gifts ‘N Things for everything you’ll need.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Most Colorful Fundraiser Around: Color-a-Thon!

The best active fundraiser you didn’t know existed combines health, getting outside, raising money for your school, heaps of fun for kids, and blasts of color! The Color-a-thon is an organized 3k-5k run for kids. Students collect pledges from family, friends, and neighbors to run or walk in the 3k-5k fun run.


We’ve seen great results—and tons of fun photos—come out of Color-a-thon fundraising races at elementary and middle schools around the country. These high-energy events are a growing trend for school fundraisers, and it’s easy to see why they work.

To make this fundraiser even easier, we provide you with the tools you’ll need to make this event a huge success. With your package, we will provide t-shirts and color packs for all who participate, flags and route markers for the run itself, the option to purchase items to sell at the event, Money Management Software for accepting credit cards and running reports, and more. To begin planning your Spring Color-a-thon for this school year, visit us at

Color-a-thons are perfect for:

  • Elementary schools’ spring or fall fundraisers
  • Middle schools’ spring or fall fundraisers
  • Fundraisers for churches, camp, high school marching band, clubs, or sports teams—whether in spring, summer or fall!

There are two ways to pump up the color and the profits:

1.     Donation-based Upgrades and Rewards
Students can earn extra rewards and race-day upgrades based on the number of donations they’ve received. For example, a student could receive a t-shirt and color pack and participate for as little as $30 in donations, or, for over $500, they could get a full packet of goodies for the race, like wacky tutus, rainbow stockings, megaphones, wiper glasses, white wigs, and extra color dye packs!

2.     Standard Perks with Entry Fee
This option allows for a flat entry fee to offer the same accessories for everyone. Everyone who enters will receive a white t-shirt and color dye pack. We’ll also send you extra bulk color according to your number of registrants. Encourage students to wear colorful socks, tutus, wigs, or funky hair on their own to complete the celebration, or fun items can be sold at the event for added profit!

According to, “running can offer something to kids—especially kids who aren’t athletically inclined or who are overweight—that a lot of other sports can’t—the chance to be physically active at their own pace.” So let’s get these kids moving and enjoying the outdoors while raising serious funds for our schools and organizations! Visit for more.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Boost Your Fundraising Energy, Quickly and Naturally

Let’s be honest, fundraising takes a lot of energy - not just physical energy, but mental energy, too! Keeping up with your child and helping them reach their fundraising goal is no easy task. One way to keep your energy levels up is to add some energizing items to your plate.

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Some of these superfoods might be tough to pronounce, but don’t let that deter you! A simple google search will help you find several easy and creative recipes to help you enjoy these energy-boosting foods. Many of these foods can simply be added in the blender to your favorite smoothie! Plus, these foods are available at most whole food stores, co-ops, or local grocery store’s natural food sections.

Leafy Greens

The dark green leaves of kale, spinach, collards, and swiss chard are full of nutrients you need daily, as well as sustainable energy. Saute them for a quick side dish, toss them with other greens in a fresh salad, or blend some into a green smoothie for on-the-go fundraising energy.



Seeds of many varieties–Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds–are perfect examples of great things in small packages! They’re rich in omegas and various minerals and will help boost your energy. Sprinkle them on salads, in smoothies, or toss them with Greek yogurt or cereal to kickstart your day. You can also mix some with granola for a quick boost during your fundraising event.


Spirulina is a form of algae, and along with other forms of seaweed, is high in iron and fatty acids. Spirulina also contains tons of complete protein (more than meat) which means it’s a great energy source. You can get it in powder form and hide it in all sorts of meals or smoothies!


Never heard of it? It’s a root vegetable native to Peru and it helps support your adrenal glands (which produce your stress hormones). Maca can help you fight fatigue and reduce stress, giving you more energy for the fun things in life (like FUNdraising)!



Funny name aside, these grains are packed with energy. Amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and wild rice are all technically seeds, but you can use them in dishes in place of grains for a more energy-packed meal.

Select a few choices from this list of superfoods and you’ll be sure to find that extra boost you (and your child) need to really succeed in fundraising. You’ll see great results in your energy, your health, and your fundraising goals!

For more fun tips and tricks, follow Gifts ‘N Things on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How to Get Parents More Involved in School Fundraising

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It’s no secret that between the fundraisers, open houses, teacher appreciation weeks, and many more projects, Parent Teacher Organizations/Associations (PTAs and PTOs) are extremely busy and essential to any school.

For parents and teachers alike, it’s rewarding to engage other parents to help the school and make an impact, but these endeavors are run largely on volunteer power. Whether your school is a large bustling public school or an intimate parochial school, it can often be challenging to find enough volunteers to pull off your PTO/PTA’s plans.

Step 1: Organize Your Group
You most likely have your President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. But think about which other roles would be helpful to fill. Do you have a volunteer coordinator who can manage the sign-ups and communications? Do you need specific volunteers to be a chair for each major effort?

Splitting out your yearly events and assigning a chair (and possibly co-chair) to each one will not only take the pressure off the whole of the group but will empower that person to put their stamp on the effort. Disagreements about how to run that event or project? It goes to the chair in charge. Next item!

Step 2: Make Signing Up Terribly Easy
Communicate electronically and use online sign-up websites like SignUp Genius, Volunteer, or iVolunteer. Make it clear what the project is, what your goals are, and the commitment it requires and then let people sign themselves up. As slots fill, the remaining needed times are easily seen. Volunteers have the option to leave notes, sign up for several slots, change their sign-up, and can have the commitment automatically put on their calendar. Easy-peasy!

Step 3: Give Potential Volunteers Options
A common complaint among non-volunteering parents is that there aren’t any options that fit their schedule or their lifestyle. It is essential to break up needs into smaller or online options for those who work, those with little ones at home, or those who would rather help out on their own schedule.

Examples include:
  • Preparing materials for an upcoming craft
  • Being the email liaison (an electronic responsibility)
  • Soliciting support from your place of business—whether financial or in-kind
  • Drafting or organizing a newsletter
  • Graphic design volunteer hours
  • Chairing an evening event after work hours

No matter what someone contributes, it makes a positive impact.

Step 4: Make Meetings Fun and Meaningful
Nothing steers people away faster than the thought of boring, endless meetings. Organize a well-planned agenda, decide what you need to accomplish, and move on. Bring in coffee, treats, and allow some time for chit-chat, but be respectful of everyone’s time by moving through your agenda items. Some organizations choose to meet in the evening to accommodate working parents, and some meet for happy hour or dinner to balance the social with the business. Poll your group, find the best time and place, and have fun!

Step 5: Reach Working Parents
Naturally, you want to reach all parents so they can be an active part of your children’s school. Plan meetings during the evening and give plenty of options for volunteer opportunities outside of work hours so that working moms and dads can give their input and support. If daytime volunteering comes up in the classrooms, give people plenty of notice so that working parents can take time off or arrange schedules as needed.

Step 6: Offer Childcare
Just as working parents find it difficult to volunteer, sometimes stay-at-home parents find it hard to volunteer if they have toddlers or babies at home. Try offering on-site childcare during meetings or event prep time so that these parents can get involved without worrying about a toddler’s needs at that moment. Some schools use one of the preschool rooms or a church nursery to accommodate the little siblings, which can be staffed by a school staff member, another parent, or a certified teen babysitter(s) looking for experience.

Step 7: Reach out to Grandparents
Grandparents and other family members are an untapped resource! Especially if they are available during the day, these doting volunteers can offer help as well as advice and perspective on your projects.

Send out an email to existing parents that they can forward to other family members, inviting them to sign up to be on a volunteer newsletter list, or asking them to email the volunteer coordinator if they’d like to make a difference at the school. You may even find some retired teachers, nurses, artists, or fundraising professionals who could offer special insight into your school efforts!

With today’s busy schedules, finding volunteers can be a constant challenge. Making sure the experience is fun, impactful, and respectful of all types of parents is the key to maintaining support from your volunteers. Follow Gifts ‘N Things on Facebook for more tips and tricks. Best of luck!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Keep the Momentum of Generosity Going!

December is a time for giving and remembering those who are less fortunate. But why should we teach our kids to only think about others during one month of the year? Let’s keep the momentum going and find ways to make generosity one of the values we teach and model for the next generation. Here are 4 ways to promote philanthropy in your community.

Make a Community Involvement Calendar
There are countless ways that kids can get involved within the community to make a positive difference. Ask around, brainstorm some ideas, and sit down with your kids to plan out monthly experiences helping others. Call it “Giving Back Weekend” or “Spread the Joy Days” or “Make the World Better Time.” Integrating these experiences into your routine will not only teach children that they can make a positive impact on the world, but that this is something worth doing on a regular basis.

Ideas could include picking up trash, running a food drive, donating to a shelter, packing meals to be shipped overseas, or adopting your own sponsor child in need that your kids can be pen pals with. (It’s a good idea to check with organizations first—to find out what their needs are, how you can be of help, and any age requirements.)

Do Something as a Class, Troop, Pack, or Neighborhood
For more impact and some fun times with friends, organize volunteering opportunities for groups. Whether it’s a scouting group, class, neighborhood, or extended family, more people means more help where it’s needed and some very impactful memories for your children. According to, “Volunteering is the perfect way for children to be welcomed as productive, active members of a community…[It] promotes healthy lifestyle and choices, enhances development, teaches life skills, improves the community, and encourages a lifelong service ethic.”

Point Out and Model Generosity in Our Words
Part of being generous is not only in service projects, but in our daily lives and how we speak to (or about) other people.  Generosity begins with kindness, empathy, and love, and spreading those feelings around! When someone pulls out a stereotype or jumps to a conclusion about someone else, let your kids see you challenge it. When an adult shows patience or empathy to strangers, point it out to your kids. Watch the words and tones that you use as well. Whenever children share of their own accord, help someone else when others wouldn’t, or spread kindness in their own way, acknowledge that action and the emotions it probably caused.

Ask the Kids!
Ask children what they’d like to do to make the world a little bit better. Leave it open ended and let them think about it a bit. You may be surprised (and inspired) by their ideas. Letting them lead the way also empowers them to know they have good ideas, and their ideas can make a difference. Check out this example of children collecting items for the homeless.
Take for example our recent Holiday Free Shop in Allentown, PA. Just like all of our Lil’ Shoppers Shoppes, children can come in to find gifts for loved ones for the holidays. Normally most of the gifts are less than $3, but this annual event was free for disadvantaged kids to be able to shop comfortably for their parents and families. They even got some wrapping done, and it’s obvious that kids love to give!

Here’s to raising a generation of generosity!