Teaching Kids to Give Back

I’m not financially wealthy by any means. In fact, when we bought our house two months ago, I joked that we would be on a budget, a Ramen Noodle every night kind of budget. However, I am wealthy in many other ways. Although my family has had more than their share of illness, we are all fairly healthy. I have awesome children who work hard at school and everything they do. I have very supportive parents and brothers (and their wives). My two nieces and two nephews are awesome and unique in their own ways. I am very close to my extended family as well. I have great friends.  I have a warm house to go home to everyday. We have winter coats, hats and gloves, a plethora of clothes and pretty much anything else we could possibly need. Although it might be Ramen Noodles, we have a hot meal every night.  I think I’m pretty wealthy.

My commute home used to require me to pass the Hosea House in Newport every night. As I would drive by, I would see the people lined up outside in the rain or freezing cold with no coats, hats or gloves waiting to be served dinner. It broke my heart. My daughter and I have also worked out this kitchen serving food. A was very humbled when she saw the children walk in not dressed for the weather and starving.

So last year my children and I decided to do something about it. We bought tons of hats and gloves and drop them off at the kitchen. The workers were so incredibly grateful. That spring we took ponchos for the homeless men. Again, everyone was grateful.

On Tuesday I called the director and asked her if they had a need this year. She was so happy I called. She said she was just saying how much she needed hats and gloves for the children and was hopeful someone would provide. So my children and I headed to Target where we knew we could buy 2 pairs of gloves for $1 and hats for $1. The baby items included a pair of gloves and a hat for $2.10. We ended up purchasing about 45 pairs of gloves and 25 hats. My children each gave money of their own toward this purchase. We dropped the items off and once again they were very grateful.

I believe it is extremely important to teach our children how lucky they are. My kids cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to not know where their next meal is coming from, not have a hat and gloves to wear to school and maybe not even have a home. Taking them to the Hosea House to donate items and work teaches them to be empathetic of others and appreciate what they have.

Do you teach your kids to give back? What types of projects do you do? I put a list of places in Northern Kentucky that typically need volunteers or donations in case you are interested in doing something. Feel free to add to the list.

Hosea House – 9th & York, Newport – 261-5857

Brighton Center – 741 Central Ave.,  Newport, KY 41071 – 491-8303

Welcome House – 205 Pike Street,  Covington, KY 41011 – 431-8717

Covington Cold Shelter – 634 Scott St, Covington, KY 41011 – 291-4555

Vietnam Vets – 1-800-535-3834

Fairhaven Rescue Mission – 260 Pike Street, Covington – 491-1027