Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Idea for Nurturing a Spirit of Giving in Your Family

Fireside ~ Conversations by the fire about nurturing home and family

" . . . whoever is kind to the needy honors God." Proverbs 14:31

Does your family do any year-end giving? If so, why not include your kids? 

Here's an idea for nurturing a giving spirit in your family:

Make a List of Non-Profits
In our family, we compile a master list of Christian ministries and charitable organizations we would like to give to. My husband and I research and have confidence in the integrity of each one. We print a copy of this list for each member of our family. At the bottom, we always include a spot for "Other" in case someone has another non-profit they would like to support.

Determine the Amount
We then determine the amount of our total year-end donation and split it between each family member. For instance, a $2,000 year-end donation in a family of four would give each person $500 to donate.  (Give your kids the option to include their own funds in this as well.)

Include the Whole Family
Each family member prayerfully reviews the list and allocates funds to the ministries/organizations of his or her choice. After all the sheets are turned in, we tally the results and report the total amounts designated for each non-profit. It's really fun to see what your kids choose . . . gives you a picture into their hearts. This year our son wrote in a donation to the Humane Society (on the "Other" line) from our dog Suubi.

Year-end giving provides a great opportunity to teach children about:

  • Compassion
  • Using personal resources responsibly 
  • The joy and beauty of giving
  • Recognizing the needs of others (i.e., "it's not about me")
  • Being a "light" in a dark world as a family unit

If you're looking for organizations to give to, here are a few that are precious to us. (Of course, there are many others we love as well, but I don't have room to list them all!):

As Our Own
"As Our Own is a Christ-based, community-driven movement in India that rescues vulnerable children from certain enslavement and exploitation, caring for them as our own."

Click here for statistics on orphans and s-x trafficking in India and here for a photo album of a child's path into slavery. This world-wide crisis is absolutely heartbreaking and an evil we all need to battle.

Kanakuk Institute
The Kanakuk Institute equips men and women with Biblical skills for a lifetime of ministry. Amazing is all I can say! What this ministry is doing is so desperately needed in our world today.

Kids Across Africa Camps
Kids Across Africa Camps enables and equips the youth of Rwanda by teaching them life skills, self-confidence and leadership through experiential learning. As they work with youth - and in partnership with churches - they are aiding in the continued restoration and healing of Rwanda.

Watoto Child Care Ministries
Watoto is a holistic care program that was initiated in response to the overwhelming number of orphaned children and vulnerable women in Uganda. Their purpose is to rescue individuals and raise each one as a leader so they will in turn rebuild their nation. 

Danita's Children (Hope for Haiti Children's Center)
Danita's Children rescues, loves, and cares for orphans and impoverished children. This ministry is incredibly legit in their love for Christ and the sweet children of Haiti.


Joplin Tornado Relief
Joplin is courageously rebuilding, but there is still tremendous need there! Now you can help Joplin and receive an amazing tax credit as well. Missouri residents and businesses are eligible to receive a direct reduction on their Missouri taxes. I believe there's a federal tax incentive as well. For an example of how a $10,000 donation could ultimately cost only $3,000, visit:

Donations can be sent to:
JACCF (Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation)
320 East 4th Street
Joplin, MO 64801

College-town Churches
Consider a gift to the church your college student attends. (Churches in college towns provide numerous ministries to college students with very few financial resources coming in.)

Get the word out! Use the comments section or my Facebook page to share links to your favorite ministry.

Warming the World Together . . .