Schools might close for Christmas, but there’s still plenty to learn during this season of goodwill. In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the elderly mister Scrooge discovers, during his visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past, the value of giving. Watching his first employer, Mr Fezziwig, dole out seasonal cheer, Scrooge realises that “the happiness he gives is quite as great as if it costs a fortune.”
Of course, your son or daughter doesn’t have to learn about giving quite so late in life. Supporting causes, whether big or small, can help kids think about the wider world. Giving can be very personal, but there are plenty of opportunities to give back this December, and many ways to better understand the good work charities undertake.
1) Talk to your kids about a charity they would like to support
Do they want to clean up beaches, help the elderly or look after animals? Ask them what they’re interested in and use the search feature in RoosterMoney’s Give pot to explore over 26,000 different charities on JustGiving. Pick one, and your child can ask to make a donation to a charity via JustGiving charity donation site.
2) Get to know the kind of work you can help with
Plenty of charities have Christmas campaigns, which explains why giving money to them helps. This new video from Great Ormond St Hospital really helps younger supporters understand their cause.
3) Find out which charities need extra help at this time
Some good causes find themselves in dire need of funds at different times. The animal charity the RSPCA thinks it might be in for its worst Christmas ever, as the financial pressures of the pandemic push owners to abandon their pets. Maybe they need a bit more money?
4) Work out how much you want to give
The Give pot in the RoosterMoney app lets you set aside money for a good cause and track donations over time.
5) Give a charity Christmas present
You don’t just have to buy presents for your friends and family. You can also give really useful gifts to people in need. The housing charity, Crisis, focuses on helping people find a home, particularly over the Christmas period. Their Shop to Stop Homelessess programme lets you buy gifts to help someone settle into their new home, or art supplies to help them take their mind off the seasonal stresses.
6) Send charity cards
Thousands of charities offer their own line of Christmas cards, the proceeds from which benefit their causes. Children’s charity UNICEF has a great range of colouring cards, allowing young senders to personalise their Christmas messages.
7) Get gaming for charity
That’s right, you can raise money via your console. Great Ormond Street’s Geek out for GOSH campaign lets you host a fundraising livestream, run a charity gaming tournament, or tackle a particularly hard game challenge, all for charity.
8) Try a charity shop
You can give and receive at charity shops. These high street stores sell unwanted goods, and pass the money onto a wide range of charitable causes; many charities also sell their donations online, and plenty have good Christmas decorations for sale. Perhaps you can donate your old stuff, or pick up something cheap for yourself. Old games and DVDs often cost only a few pounds, and the money always goes to a good cause.
9) Find out about the different ways people have raised money over the years
It isn’t all fun runs and bake sales. In 1929, J. M. Barrie donated the copyright to his book and play Peter Pan to the Great Ormond St Hospital. That copyright would have expired by now, but In 1988, the former British Prime Minister James Callaghan helped put a law through parliament, granting the hospital a right to royalties for any performance, publication, broadcast of the play or adaptation of the play, forever! Maybe, if your son or daughter makes it big in the future, they can give a bit back too.
We hope this helps and if you’ve got any other ideas on what you’d like us to cover next, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org! 😊