Host: Should my children donate to charities?
Janet Bodnar: I think it is very important, many people can consider it very important to teach their kids philanthropy and there are certain things you can do at different ages. Again, when the kids are younger you want to keep things very concrete so maybe you are contributing to the 'Toys for tots' program during the holidays and the kids come and they help you choose a toy that they think would be fun for another child to play with.
If you want to clean out your own toy room and maybe give the toys and books and things like that to a homeless shelter or to a shelter for children, for families, have the kids help you, have the kids go through their stuff, decide what they don't want anymore and then go with you to make the donation. I know one child who used to donate a Beanie Babies actually and also old toys to the toy room at a hospital and oncology center for children who were cancer victims and were coming in to get chemotherapy and that sort of thing and there was a big toy closet there and so the child would donate things that she did not need or want anymore to the toy closet and sometimes would go out and buy new things as well.
But anyway, those are very concrete things that a child can do when they are young and just seeing you make philanthropic donations whether it's you are actually putting money into the basket or the collection plate at your house of worship over the weekend and just doing things like shoveling snow, seeing you shovel snow for the older neighbors who live across the street, it sticks in their minds. It is a very concrete thing, it's something that you are doing for other people and that is really what you are trying to teach them and then of course, as they get older they can make their own donations and have money of their own. They can put money in the collection plate on Sunday or they can go there. There are so many neat little catalogs certainly over the holidays that you can go to and you can buy a flock of chickens for a poor family in some other country around the world, things like that that kids really get into. So, anything that can peak their interest, I think is going to be effective as far as philanthropy is concerned. Many families require their kids to tie, that's a very important issue with many families and I think that is a good thing as well.