Parents, Pass the Philanthropic Torch

Parents, Pass the Philanthropic Torch

November 16th, 2009

by Angela White


Giving back. It should be on our mind all of the time, but the holiday season seems to heighten the awareness of giving back.


Take yesterday, for example. When leaving our local Kroger store, my five year old son, Patrick, saw the nice gentleman ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Patrick asked me about the gentleman and his purpose. After thinking about it for a minute, he said, “Mom, I have $1.00 in my backpack in the car. Can we get it so that I can give it to the man?” Well, of course, I was touched by the generosity of a five year old giving away a precious $1.00 that was to be used to buy candy at the 8th grade candy store at his school (which is also a charitable act – to raise money for the 8th grade trip – but certainly the ROI on that donation would be greater to a five year old than simply the good feeling that comes with putting the $1.00 in the Salvation Army bucket). 


On the way home from Kroger, I was challenging myself to think about how I talk about my work with  my two boys – do I talk about meetings, deadlines, emails to answer, etc. OR do I talk about the privilege that I have to help people give back?


To this end, I would recommend a great book to you called Three Cups written by Mark St. Germain and available at It is a great tool to help children understand the joy of giving back – even when their mom forgets to bring home that aspect of her work!

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