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Teaching Our Children to be Generous, Especially in Uncertain Times

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Mr. Rogers’s wise words ring especially true during this frightening and uncertain time, as children are looking to their first, best, (and current) teachers – their parents and family – to model ways to cope, care, and continue helping.

Helping others and acts of generosity have been shown to build trust and stronger social connections, improve health, and even make people happier – all things that our children could definitely use more of right now!

Find ways for you and your kids to become “the helpers.” Let kids help where they safely can:

  • Donate supplies to those in need.

  • Drop off or send books, toys, and games to children’s charities.

  • Surprise a friend or neighbor by leaving flowers or a treat on their doorstep.

  • Drop off or send treats and essential supplies to nurses, police, and first responders.

And show your kids what generosity and giving look like as an adult:

  • Donate blood, plasma, and/or platelets

  • Share your skills

  • Teach a free virtual class – yoga, knitting, cooking, technology – the opportunities to (virtually) share your knowledge and experience are unlimited!

  • Offer to walk dogs, run errands, and virtually check in on friends and neighbors in high-risk groups.

  • Donate to a community organization like The Set Me Free Project, that may be struggling to remain afloat during this difficult time, and explain why that organization’s work is important and worthy of your financial and action-based support.

Although right now we must remain socially distant, we can all still connect by finding – and being – the helpers. If we all help each other though this unprecedented crisis, we are sure to emerge stronger and kinder, and more helpful on the other side.

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