For parents and kids there are innumerable rituals that accompany a new school year…shopping for new clothes and school supplies, homeroom assignments and new locker combinations, signing up for soccer teams and Girl Scouts. The list could go on and on. I have one I’d like to add to the list: paying it forward.
Although I don’t have children, I am a big believer in teaching kids about giving back. For some families it is about tithing at church, for others it Is simple sharing or maybe volunteering for a community activity. I employ this strategie with all the “kids” in my life including my 20-something nephews. I can’t say that they much like it, but it feels like the right thing to do. I regularly make a donation to a favprite charity, such as the Heifer Project, to honor their birthdays for instance.
These days, the nonprofit leaders have made it easy by picking school themed charities. Here in nyc, two fun ones are Operation Backpack and Donors Choose. Operation Backpack is a charity drive that provides backpacks and school supplies for the many thousands of New York City School Children who are homeless. Operation Backpack is gearing up for the new school year and accepting Donations at neighborhood Duane Reade Pharmacies all about New York. So when your kids are at staples or walmart they can pick up extra school supplies for kids who aren’t so fortunate.
My friend and former colleague Julia Rumford told me about Donors Choose, a NYC based charity that allows contributors to pick what school related purchase they would like their donation to pay for. This start up non profit is using a new and highly effective strategy of naking donirs feel more a “part of” by connecting them with their purchase. Visit their website and you will find wish lists posted by hard working educators. With your donation you can make a teachers wish come true and enhance the educational experience for needy kids.
I could go on and on about autiumn giving opportunities, and I would be glad to hear your suggestions!