of spending your money is to give some of your money away. “Why would I
do that?” you ask. The answer is: because it is the right thing
to do. Most of us think that poor people live in other countries around
the world. The truth is, there are poor people everywhere. Poor people
do not have a lot of money, food, or clothing. Sometimes they are
homeless or live in places that would be hard for us to imagine—like
under bridges or in their cars.
When a country has
economy problems, the poor get even poorer and other people become poor,
too. The Great Depression is an example of this. Lots of men traveled
across the country looking for work, but there were no jobs for them.
Their families were thrown out of their homes, had to beg for food, or
didn’t have enough clothing to keep them warm. Some people are still
just as poor and in need as people were during the Great Depression.
Young people like us need to step forward and do what we can to help these
Charity, the act of
giving, can be in:
Time: People donate
their time to help in ‘soup kitchens’ where poor people can come to get
food. They can deliver food to older people who can’t get out anymore.
Kids like us can help out at hospitals—delivering newspapers, working in
the gift shop, or running errands. We can donate some time to a nursing
home, an animal shelter, or collect for
UNICEF (or another good cause).
Used things: When we
grow out of coats and clothing, they can be donated to area churches,
the Salvation Army, or some other charity that will deliver them to
New things: Some of
these things would be canned food for your town
food pantry, toys for the
United State Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, the Salvation Army
Angel Tree program where you choose a card from a tree that lists what
someone needs—and buy it for them. Using your money will
provide a needy person with something he/she needs AND make you feel
Money: Lots of
projects just need money. Some of these things are UNICEF, animal
abuse, environmental organizations, and cancer research. There are
thousands of really good organizations that need money.
As children, we
need a parent’s permission to do these things.
Since this site is
how to use your money in the best ways and, as kids, you probably have
never given your own money away, you need to do a little work before you
donate. Try these things:
Sit down and figure out
what kind of organization you would like to give money to. Do you worry
about how stray animals are treated? Do you have a relative who
suffered from Alzheimer’s disease? Does water pollution make you
angry? Does homelessness make you sad? Pick an organization that means
something to you.
Sometimes kids like to
donate money to organizations that help other kids. It’s something to
Decide if you want a
national/international organization like the Red Cross or something
closer to home like a food pantry or animal shelter.
Check out your library
or go online to places like Idealist.org where
non-profit organizations are
organizations that believe in what you believe in.
Check to see how much
of every donated dollar will actually go towards the cause. For
example, let’s say you want to give to “Kids Can Read”, a make-believe
organization that buys books for needy children. When you look it up
online, you find that each dollar you give is split between fund-raising
costs, administration costs, and the actual book buying and giving.
When you look closer, you see that of every dollar only 30 cents
actually gets spent on books. This means that the rest of that dollar
is being spent on paying the people who buy the books, office supplies,
posters, and advertisements. Since most people say that a good
non-profit organization spends at least 60 cents of every dollar on
giving, our make-believe reading one would not be rated highly.
Have a parent help you
with the donation. We know it’s your money, but sometimes an older
person can help pick the organization. They have a right to know where
you are giving your money, too.
The amount of money that
you give depends on the amount of money that you have. Figure out how
much money is a reasonable amount. Sometimes kids take a percentage of
their allowance and save it for giving. Depending on the charity you
select, decide when you want to donate. Toys for Tots is usually done
for Christmas. You buy toys for needy children who might not have a
Christmas without them.
only makes others happy, but it will make you feel good, too!
Dollars and Sense. Chicago: Heinemann, 2003.
“What are some good
ideas for Christmas charity?” 11 Nov. 2008. <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-some-good-ideas-for-christmas-charity.htm>.
“What should I consider
when donating to a charity?” 11 Nov. 2008. <