We love the holiday season at Greenlight. It’s a time when families have thoughtful conversations about what they’re thankful for. Many talk about the importance of generosity and reflect on our responsibility to give to those less fortunate. Some families offer their time to support noble causes and give back to their communities. Some choose to make donations to nonprofits.
Throughout this Thanksgiving season, we encourage you to share with your kids the gift of giving.
Generosity is part of human nature. And it leads to happier lives.
A research study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology in 2015 explored generosity in toddlers by putting a container of marbles at shared tables to see how their children would distribute the marbles. Most of the time, the kiddos would distribute their marbles equally.
In another variation of the study, toddlers were given separate trays and the researchers randomly distributed the marbles between them. In situations where a child was given more marbles than their partner, one-third of the time, the lucky toddler with more marbles would give up their extra marbles to their partner to even the score.
A different study by the University of Zurich in 2017 found that generosity actually makes people happier, even if they only give a little.
Choose your way to give.
Ashley Noto, Greenlight’s SVP of Product and Analytics gave us a look inside how her family gives back during the holidays: “With all the gifts from friends and family during the holiday, I think it’s also a great opportunity to celebrate the joy of giving with my kids,” she said. “At the beginning of the season, we adopt a family in need. We all contribute earned allowances and participate in buying items for the family. As the season comes to a close, my kids give back — either a toy or a portion of gift money they received — to a charity of their choice.”
There are many different ways kids can share their generosity and give their time, effort or money!
- Time: Choose an organization to volunteer with as a family. Volunteermatch.org is a great place to identify opportunities to donate your time. You can even search by different causes.
- Unwanted items: Involve your kids by encouraging them to clean their closets and donate old clothes to local organizations.
- Toy or food drives: Many schools and local businesses run toy and food drives around Thanksgiving to give to those less fortunate.
- Money: Donating money helps enforce lessons in budgeting with kids while instilling the importance of generosity.
Set monetary donation goals.
In anticipation for the holiday season, work with your kids to set individual or family donation goals. As your kids are gifted money for the holidays, work with kids to put funds back for an end-of-year donation.
- Allocate a percentage of allowance payouts into your kids Give accounts which can only be used with charitable organizations.
- Create a Greenlight Savings Goal to help kids track progress toward a larger donation. Did you know that kids who set saving goals save 29.5% more than kids who don’t? Have your kids research their favorite charitable organizations — ones they identify with the most. If you need someplace to start, these are the 3 most popular organizations for Greenlight kids.
It’s always important to remember the power of the collective. Even the smallest donation is part of a much larger community of givers.
It’s also important to reward your child’s generosity. Praise them for contributing to causes larger than themselves and weave giving back into regular conversations. You’ll notice how naturally these conversations emerge – whether it’s an ill classmate in need or a school-sponsored food drive.
At Greenlight, we are proud to celebrate generosity. In December, we have some special things planned to encourage the giving nature of Greenlight kids and reward them for their efforts. Stay tuned!