For My Children on Giving During this Season. And Always.

I hope that you learn through your lives that giving, in its purest form, feels good and is necessary and will change your life and worldview…that it does make a difference.

I hope that you take in the privileges with which you are being raised, right alongside the injustices that you and those around you may face.

I hope that you always think about how life circumstances make others feel, even if you have never been in their situations.

I hope that you shed tears for those who hurt and radiate joy for those who accomplish.

I hope that you offer a seat to the person on the subway who just looks so tired.

I hope that you put down your phones when you are crossing the street to help a struggling mom and her kids or an elderly person cross safely.

I hope that you pay for someone’s meal or purchase when you can, just because you are moved to do so.

I hope that you are the corporate volunteers who push to have a party for underresourced kids and take time away from work to participate. Or that you volunteer on the weekends and take action to improve something you feel needs it.

I hope that when you are able to, you will donate to the organizations who are working tirelessly to protect and to educate and to feed and to clothe and to provide.

I hope that you stand up for what you believe in and choose to act peacefully and with love.

I hope that you welcome neighbors and anyone who needs a place to go into your homes.

I hope that you always have perspective about what you have and how there is always someone who needs something that you can spare.

I hope that you always treat all people with kindness and respect and love and giving.

I hope.

Teaching Children to Give. Does it Really Work?

As parents, we always hope that even a fraction of what we teach our children resonates with them, stays with them, and that one day, might return to us in action so that we know they were listening. Because...validation.

I share this story not to boast about my child. I share this story to celebrate that introducing giving to our children, works. IT WORKS. When we consciously bring giving in to our lives, IT WORKS. And it changes all of us.

The other day, a friend of mine gave Milo four quarters. After a not-so-subtle suggestion, he gave two to his little sister, Luna. As we were riding the packed subway elevator up to the street level at the end of a long day, I quietly asked him if he was going to put his quarters in his givingJAR or his piggy bank. Milo is not known for speaking in a hushed voice, so his loud response went something like this.

"I am going to put both quarters in my givingJAR so that there's more money in it so we can buy more stuff for people who don't have any and need things." Be still my heart. I snuggled him in closely.

There was an audible, collective gasp. Joy all around.

A woman next to him smiled widely said, "You should bottle that right now and keep that with you forever."

A man behind me said, "Wow. Really wow...now that's the best thing I've heard all day." Isn't that the truth!

It works, guys. Stick with it!

Happy Giving!

Milo, 4 1/2 years old!

Milo, 4 1/2 years old!