10 Charities That Will Get Kids Excited About Giving Back
We all want to raise kids who help make a better world — introducing them to these organizations is a great way to start.
Margo Gothelf and Sarah Burns
Donating to charity can sometimes be tricky for kids to understand. They may not get where the money is going, who it's for, or even who they are helping out. Get your little ones excited about donating to charities by picking out ones that they can make a connection with or physically get involved. It will make the world of a difference when they can make a connection and feel proud of their good deed!
Alex’s Lemonade Stand
4-year-old cancer patient Alex Scott had no intention of starting a charity to raise money for childhood cancer, but she did just that with Alex's Lemonade Stand. Before the charity was officially a charity, Alex had the idea to sell lemonade to raise money to donate to doctors and help them find a cure for cancer. The simple idea was a hit, and Alex raised $2,000 on her first try.
By the time Alex passed away when she was 8, she had raised over one million dollars from her lemonade stands. Today, her idea lives on. All over the country, kids are setting up lemonade stands just like Alex's to raise and donate money to help fund childhood cancer research, increase awareness, and help out families in need. Find out how you can get involved and set up your own lemonade stand on Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Spending endless hours on a playground is a kid's rite of passage, which is why KABOOM! is making it their mission to make playspaces accessible for all kids, no matter where they live. In the last 25 years, KABOOM! has been able to build or repair over 17,000 playspaces. Their passion for community playspaces has given 11.5 million kids safe spaces for kids to just be kids.
KABOOM! focuses on building playspaces in communities of color, where neighborhoods are less likely to have a local playground due to systemic racism. Want to learn how you can get involved and bring a new playspace to life? Head on over to KABOOM! for all of the answers.
World Wildlife Fund
Ever wish you could have a pet polar bear? What about an elephant? Maybe a whale? While having one of these animals as a family pet seems pretty unlikely, kids can support one in their natural habitat by adopting a wild animal through the World Wildlife Fund. By adopting an animal from WWF, your family will help fight threats that wild species face, like global warming and habitat loss. Plus, you'll also get an adoption certificate and a picture of your new symbolic pet to show off to friends.
Everyone knows the importance of a good night's sleep, especially the people behind the Pajama Program, which is why they've made it their mission to create a way for kids to have a solid bedtime routine no matter their situation. The program first came together in 2001 after founder Genevieve Piturro was reading to children waiting for foster care and noticed the majority of them didn't have any PJs. Shortly after, she began collecting pajamas herself, and eventually, the Pajama Program was born.
Since then, the foundation has donated over 7 million pairs of PJs and children's books to kids to ensure a good night's rest. Each year, the charity holds a Pajama Walk, where participants march outside in their PJs to raise awareness and funds for their important cause. Want to donate your favorite books and a comfy set of PJs to the Pajama Program? Head on over to their site to find out how you can do just that.
Locks of Love
Not all donations have to come in the form of money. Case in point: Locks of Love. The organization's mission is to help those who suffer from medical hair loss, whether due to chemotherapy or other causes. So, what kind of donations do they take? Actual hair from people all over the country! To donate, all you have to do is grow out your hair so it's 10 inches long. When it's long enough to cut, head to the salon, where they'll cut it off in a braid, and you can send it in for a donation. The hair is made into a wig and fitted just for kids. The simple act requires nothing but patience on your part and makes a world of difference for someone in need!
Watsi is helping those around the world get the healthcare they deserve. The crowdfunding organization takes the personal route by introducing you to several patients in need of medical care and sharing an inside look at their journey. The personalized profiles highlight the patient's background, the details about the needed procedure, and updates about their progress. Watsi can give kids that personal connection that is sometimes missing when donating to charity by showing them a real person, and even connecting them with someone around their age. Head on over to Watsi's site and let your little ones pick out a friend who is in need of some help.
There are many pieces to the puzzle when it comes to having a good education. One major piece is having all of the tools and supplies needed in the classroom, which is where DonorsChoose comes into play. So, how does it work? DonorsChoose lets any public school teacher set up a profile listing the supplies needed for their classroom to succeed. While all classrooms are welcome, DonorsChoose spotlights those in low-income communities, as well as Black, Latinx, and Native American students. The requests can range from art supplies and books to iPads and classroom furniture. Want to fund a project? Their website lets your kids pick out a classroom in need. If they see a classroom requesting supplies that your kids use every day at school, they'll understand why it's important and see the difference they can make.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, kids have toys and gifts on the brain. Operation Santa works hard during the holiday season to make sure kids all over the country get a few gifts from Santa, no matter their economic status. The organization takes all of the letters addressed to Santa and uploads them onto their site for families to adopt and complete the request. By picking out a letter to answer, your family will get a small taste of what it's like to be Santa during the holiday season.
National Forest Foundation
Did you know that just two trees can remove over 1 metric ton of CO2 throughout their lifespan? The scientific facts may not register to your little ones, but the simple act of planting a few trees can help offset your carbon footprint to combat climate change, which is why the National Forest Foundation is trying to plant 50 million trees. The NFF works with the U.S. Forest Service to determine areas of need and plants trees to increase the flow of clean air and water. They also plant trees in areas that have been damaged by natural disasters to bring the location back to life. Plus, it only takes $2 to plant two trees, so even your little ones can break into their piggy bank and get excited about saving the environment.
Not every donation needs to go through a large charity. Some of the easiest and most exciting ways to help those in need are to explore the local shelters right in your backyard. Have an animal lover? Seek out the local animal shelter and see how you can get involved. Have a little foodie on your hands? Check out your local food pantry and soup kitchen to see what they need and how you can volunteer. The donations will be all the more exciting when your kids know they are helping out people who are local to their community.
Do an Act of Kindness in Your Community with the CAMP + Ally Toy Vault
Embrace the spirit of giving and giving back to your community this season! Come to CAMP stores or visit the Toy Vault online in the month of December 2021 to donate a gift to families in need.