The Global Game Changers believe that you don’t have to be bitten by a spider to be a superhero.
Instead, you become a superhero by making the world a better place. And the key to encouraging your child to become a superhero and a life-long philanthropist is a simple equation that every child should complete for themselves: My Talent + My Heart = My Superpower!
By encouraging each child to combine their individual talent with what they care about, you can make giving back an integral part of their lives. Hopefully it will become as natural for them as nature itself.
Engaging kids in environmental and green activities is a great way to start to develop their philanthropic interests and inspire them to become part of the GGC movement to “Ignite Good!” and use their superpowers to give back and make the world a better place. Begin with talking to them about the planet and solar system.
Explain that it has been around for thousands of years and has undergone a lot of change as mankind and the way that we live have evolved. As a result, sometimes we cannot see the consequences of our actions, whether positive or negative, for many years. So, it is very important to be educated about life choices you make in order to fully evaluate their potential impact in advance.
Here are five tips for how you can use the environment and green activities to provide your kids a personal experience with philanthropy. Using the right tools to start their quest to Ignite Good! can insure a lifetime commitment to giving back.
- Connect to “green” philanthropy through technology. Technology is an integral part of kids’ lives today. Use that tool to connect philanthropy and the environment together for your child. Visit “green” websites together and discuss their content and ask your child what they could do to help. Try to find visually strong and interactive sites that allow for a direct connection that show kids fun ways they can connect “doing good” with saving the earth. They will provide a stronger impact.
- Little things and little people can make a difference. Make sure your child knows they have the power to make a difference and that their actions matter. As an example, show them the impact of recycling. Explain that trees produce oxygen for us to breathe and millions of plants provide life-saving medicines. Even things that seem insignificant or ugly play an important role. Small things matter, and small people matter. Recycled newspapers can save trees, and recycled plastics are used to create something completely different – like fabric. Agree on recycling activities that your child wants to do to help our planet. Discuss why that particular recycling activity is important to them personally. Help them to understand how the environment would be affected adversely if they didn’t get involved.
- Caring for our planet is important, just like caring for people. Caring about people is an action that produces easily identifiable results for a child. Feeling empathy and sharing heart are feelings that the producer and the receiver share in addition to a tangible philanthropic action. It is more difficult for a child to see and feel the results of their good deeds when it comes to caring about the planet. Suggest ways that they can connect both. Collect used books and have a book fair to sell them to donate the proceeds to a charitable initiative that is important to your child. This activity teaches kids how they can promote the importance of reading/literacy and use helping the environment by “recycling” the books to buy food for the hungry, buy musical instruments for an arts organization, or help a rescue effort, whatever they feel passionate about.
- Eat green and be green. Plant a family or neighborhood garden. Use the activity to teach your child how a healthy environment also promotes a healthy life through eating well and engaging in physical activity.
- Waste not; want not! Lessons learned by being philanthropic translate to personal and professional life lessons. For instance finding ways to conserve water helps the environment and teaches your child not to be wasteful. Give your dog a bath or wash your car in an area of your yard that is dry and needs to be watered. Develop basic habits of turning off lights when you are aren’t in a room, making sure the water faucet is completely turned off when finished using and walking or riding bikes instead of driving when possible. Visit kid-friendly sites like http://www.discoverwater.org/use-water-wisely/ to help your child understand why it is important to conserve and respect our natural resources.
Engaging in philanthropy will make your child a better person and a better citizen their entire life. Using these tips, you can show your kids that the power to make a difference lies within them and that they can have fun doing it. Help them to fill in their own equation, “My Talent + My Heart = My Superpower!”
The hope is to inspire a young generation of givers who can answer the questions: what’s your favorite way of giving back, what talents do you have that can help others and what charitable initiatives are you passionate about just as easily as they could tell you their favorite sport, school subject or on-line game.
Jan Helson is CEO of Pixel Entertainment and creator of the Global Game Changers brand. For more great ways to educate your kids about philanthropy, check out the Global Game Changers website: www.theglobalgamechangers.com. On it, kids have the opportunity to learn about different types of charities, tell their own stories of what they do to “Ignite Good,” learn about other kids and what they are doing to make the world a better place, play fun games, and even use their points to help The Global Game Changers Superhero Alliance decide where to donate money each month!
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