Grandparents: Make Philanthropy a Family Affair

Helping Your Grandchildren “Experience” Philanthropy
How often do you hear that today’s generation of children are self-absorbed or one of entitlement? That’s a pretty harsh statement to make, and one that I don’t entirely agree with. I think kids today don’t just want things – they want experiences too!

Children see the needs of the world everyday on the news – earthquakes, floods, fires. They see that we have resources to step in and assist those who are suffering…And, they want to be involved bringing help to those in need. In other words, they want the experience of helping others.

Grandparents can have an important role in sharing the “experience of philanthropy” with their grandchildren. Grandparents: Teach your grandchildren by modeling charitable behavior. Your efforts will help drive home the idea that volunteering and “giving back” are invaluable ways to be part of a community. Take time to explain why the causes you are passionate about are meaningful to you (and encourage them to share causes and ideas they are passionate about too!). Don’t forget to give examples of how your actions will help others not just today, but in the days, months, and years to come.

Your willingness to share the “experience of philanthropy” with your grandchildren is a gift of yourself that will last a lifetime. What’s more, you’ll be empowering a generation of children with the knowledge that they too can help others in a profound way.

Here are a few suggestions to help you share the “experience of philanthropy” with your grandchildren:

  • Going on a vacation? Consider a “volunteer vacation,” and travel with purpose! Google it for the endless list of options!
  • Did you know that volunteering lowers blood pressure? It’s true! Studies have also shown doing good for others boosts self-esteem and makes you Make it a family tradition to commit to one big family fundraiser a year. Involve your grandchildren in the event.
  • Take your grandchildren with you the next time you volunteer:
  • Read books with your grandchildren, such as:
    • Make a Stand: When life gives you lemons, change the world! By Vivienne Harr
    • Boxes for Katje by Candance Fleming
    • Sophie’s Lovely Locks by Erica Pelton Villnave
  • Adopt a family/Secret Santa for Christmas
  • Create a Facebook Fundraiser to “donate” your birthday or other special day to PWSA (USA)
  • The possibilities to share the experience of philanthropy with your grandchildren are endless…Ask your grandchildren for their great ideas!


Submitted by Diane Seely, PWSA (USA) Parent Support Coordinator

This article and other free resources are provided by donations to PWSA (USA) Family Support 

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