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December 20, 2012

BGCA Give the Gift of a Great Future

I think one of the problems with the holiday season is that there is so much focus on the toys and electronic gadgets we could buy for our kids. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, most of the parents we know are talking about the mini iPads, American Girl Dolls or Kindle Fires they are getting for their kids. One has to wonder if any 6 year kid needs these expensive gadgets or toys. I have known plenty of parents who happily spent hundreds of dollars on their kids every Christmas. In contrast, we don't concentrate on gifts. Our kids receive 3 gifts each, and that has been our family tradition. The reason why we started this family tradition was because we realized that Christmas was quickly turning into consumerism for our daughter. We wanted her to remember that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus and about giving to other. It is definitely not about how many expensive or popular toys we could buy for our kids.

One of the things we do with our kids to remind them the spirit of Christmas is by donating to charity. We make sure that they understand how fortunate they are, and we want sure they also understand that being able to give to those in need is a blessing in itself.

Did you know that this year marks the 2nd annual BGCA Give the Gift of a Great Future Holiday Campaign? Since I grew up in Taiwan, I  never been to a Boys and Girls Clubs. My husband, on the other hand, grew up with one located in his home town. He used to tell me stories about going there after school when his parents were at work. He told me about the friends he made, the fun he had and the different activities he participated in thanks to Boys and Girls Clubs. 

Having heard so many wonderful things about the organization, I have a very positive view of it. But, I was even more impressed when I learned that the BGCA has a campaign that  gives our kids the gift of giving. When you go to the website, there is an easy game your child could play to win prizes like giving $1 toward the club membership fund or give a club kid a plantable book to grow wild flowers this spring. After your child learns what the prize is, you could then make a monetary donation to the organization yourself. I love that the Boys and Girls Clubs site is giving our kids a chance to learn the value of giving. During the time of the year when everyone is talking about what they want for Christmas, it is wonderful to be think about what how and what we could give. 

If giving your kids the gift of giving is as important to you as it is to us, then I recommend checking out BGCA's list of tips to help teach your children the value of giving back. Although we already talk to our kids about giving, we still found the list very helpful. For example, we agreed that we should acknowledge and celebrate all kinds of giving acts. We also thought that we should to make philanthropy a family value.

While you are checking out BGCA, be sure to also vote in the Kids Give Back photo contest.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.


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