The giv­ing game

The Sunday Times - - YOUR MONEY -

Jill asks: My daugh­ter would like to donate the con­tents of her money box to a char­ity.

I re­ally want to take her to one in per­son, rather than do­ing it on­line, so she can be a part of the process. But I am find­ing it in­creas­ingly chal­leng­ing to find in­for­ma­tion on where we can do this — none of them seem to want to in­ter­act in per­son.

Any ideas? Bare­foot an­swers: I think there are more mean­ing­ful ways to teach giv­ing than hand­ing over cash.

In­stead, my ex­pe­ri­ence is that food is the per­fect way to teach your kids about giv­ing. Ev­ery kid knows what it’s like to be hun­gry — you can’t con­cen­trate and you’re ir­ri­ta­ble un­til you eat.

So, you can ex­plain that on a typ­i­cal day roughly three kids in her class will ar­rive at school hun­gry or with­out hav­ing eaten break­fast, ac­cord­ing to Food­bank. (This ex­plains why about 1750 schools across the coun­try have break­fast clubs.)

You can also ex­plain that just be­cause you can’t see their tum­mies rum­bling, it doesn’t mean they’re not hun­gry.

Food is a pow­er­ful metaphor for kids and, even bet­ter, your kid has the chance to do some­thing about it. Last year char­i­ties across Aus­tralia had to turn away 65,000 hun­gry peo­ple each

month be­cause there wasn’t enough food to go around.

But there’s no need to start feed­ing the masses bread and fish like a mo­ti­vated mes­siah.

In­stead, when you’re next walk­ing around the su­per­mar­ket, ask your kids, “What can we buy for hun­gry peo­ple?” You can donate things like canned foods, spreads, cof­fee, flour, sugar and baby food. Have your kids bring along some money from their Give Jar so they can buy food with their own money, and then on the way home you can drop it off at a Food­bank ware­house, or a com­mu­nity char­ity that dis­trib­utes food in your area (you can find their con­tact de­tails from your coun­cil).

The Bare­foot In­vestor for Fam­i­lies: The Only Kids’ Money Guide You’ll Ever Need HarperCollins RRP $29.95

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