Teaching It's Better To Give Than Receive
Cook Children’s offers many ways kids can help kids during holidays
“It’s better to give than receive.”
Easier said than done for most kids, right?
Especially, when they know all those presents will be underneath the tree very soon.
So, how do you make your kids appreciate the true meaning of the season?
Jillian Mitchell, the Community Program coordinator at Cook Children’s, said it’s important for parents to talk to their children about the importance of sharing with others. Together, discuss the different opportunities to give, and then vote on your favorite organization to help. This way you’ll meet your chartable goals for this season while also instilling a love of giving in your children.
"Children learn from example, and their parents’ actions definitely speak louder than their words," Mitchell said. "Giving to Cook Children’s is a great way to give back to your community, and for your kids to help other kids."
Joy Crabtree, Psy.D., manager of Psychology at Cook Children’s Urgent Care and Pediatric Specialties in Southlake, believes teaching children to give to others helps them develop an awareness that others may not be as fortunate as them or have other challenges. Giving promotes the development of empathy for others as well as perspective and thankfulness for the gifts they have in their own life.
"As the holidays approach, it is a perfect time to give to families and others less fortunate,” Crabtree said. “Parents might get input from their children on a "wish list" for fun toys, books or electronics and have them help with the shopping as well. Parents can reinforce how important it is to give to others by making it an annual tradition around the holidays, but also at other times during the year when there are families in need in the community that could benefit from help."
"Giving as a family is also a great way to promote bonding among the family members and to create positive memories."
Cook Children’s is fortunate to have thousands of toys donated each year by generous individuals, families and business, and about 75 percent of those toys are donated between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The medical center has a system in place to make sure the items are distributed to patients during the holidays and year round.
Cook Children’s has been caring for children for nearly 100 years, and the community has always played a significant role in this long-term success. Through many initiatives at Cook Children’s, the entire family, including kids, can find ways to offer support and donations.
"When families decide to give to Cook Children’s, we talk with the kids about how their donations will be used," Mitchell said. "Even though they can’t see it first-hand, the kids are still being made aware of how the gifts help make medical center stays more comfortable for kids and their families. I think it really resonates with them, especially when we tell them about children and parents who have to spend time away during the holidays."
The Peter Pan Birthday Club is a program where children of any age host a party in which guests bring monetary donations for Cook Children’s, instead of presents for the birthday boy or girl. Knowing that birthday party is making a difference in the life of a sick child is a lesson in the importance of philanthropy and kindness.
Children 15 to 18 years old can volunteer at Cook Children’s. Junior volunteers help families with way-finding, support staff with clerical tasks, keep patients and siblings entertained through play and reading activities, provide much needed breaks for parents, assist with community events and much more.
"I can’t think of a more perfect time for families to come together and give to others than the holidays," said Grant Harris, vice president of Development at Cook Children’s. "Parents and their children can make a big difference at organizations like Cook Children’s. It’s important to teach children now the importance of helping others so it will continue for generations to come."
To learn more about giving to Cook Children’s, visit cookchildrenspromise.org.
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