Thank you Capital One for sponsoring this post. Click here to learn more about how Capital One is celebrating local heroes who are making Boston a better city with the “Everyday Money Boston” program.
Today, November 17th, is Giving Tuesday and I thought I would reflect on gratitude, giving back, and the ways kids can give back despite their limited incomes (if any). It turns out that gratitude and giving back are sure-fire ways to happiness.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. From Harvard Health Publications
I’ve been trying to teach my kids about personal finance. They get a small allowance and they are supposed to allocate into three piles: spend, save and donate. In this way, I want to teach them about budgeting and “everyday money” which is the money leftover after you pay your overhead like bills, rent and food. This leftover money can be allocated into spend, save and donate. And while it might seem like SPEND would bring immediate gratification, SAVE is also satisfying and DONATE brings happiness. But there are other ways to donate if you are short on money. You can donate your skill … PickyKidPix is learning how to row as a coxswain. Her crew club teaches inner city kids to row for free. It’s funded by fundraising efforts including corporate outings. Her crew club will pay coxswains to work at those corporate outings or they can donate their steering skills for free, thus helping other kids who don’t have the means to learn to row on the Charles River. Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix love to surf and they don’t consider themselves experts by any means. Last summer, the owner of the shop where they learned to surf invited them to join a charity event in which special needs kids can learn to surf in Kennebunk, Maine. You can do an act of kindness … Last year, I wanted to count down the days until Christmas by doing an Act of Kindness. I created a simple DIY Gratitude Advent Calendar for my family and I to use and I thought it helped us remember to slow down, reflect on our blessings, and do a small random act of kindness which made us all feel great. You can ask for donations in lieu of gifts … My son celebrated his 10th birthday with his best friend whose birthday is within a week of his. They had a great time playing outdoor games with their friends. Instead of gifts, they asked for dog toys and dog collars to give to a rescue dog shelter that drives dogs from kill shelters in the south and brings them to Boston where they can stay as long as they need to until they find a permanent home. My son and his friends got to meet and play with new furry friends and they both thought it was the best birthday gift ever! Did you know that Capital One has teamed with renowned Boston photoblogger, Jesse Burke, to launch the second chapter of ‘Everyday Money Boston’ – a program that highlights individuals around the Boston community by showcasing the most meaningful ways in which they use their money? Capital One believes in supporting its customers in the areas of life that are most meaningful to them–such as the philanthropic deeds they’re devoting to their communities, using their own everyday money.
This holiday season, Capital One Everyday Money Boston will celebrate local heroes and shine a light on the efforts these Bostonians are making to better their city with money from their very own pockets. And, of course, there are ways to give back even if money is short like my kids. I’d love to hear how you are giving back this holiday season! Please share!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.