Those of you who have been visiting Unplug Your Kids for a while, might remember my children’s Heifer International fund raising efforts. They made and sold Christmas ornaments, and earned money from their “Candy Bank” to contribute to my oldest daughter, E’s, class charity fundraising project.
E got so wrapped up in the fun of helping others, that she announced that for Christmas she wanted a book about different charities and what they do. “Santa” brought her A Kids Guide to Giving by Freddi Zeiler.
I promised you a review if we liked it, so here it is – finally!
Ms. Zeiler (age 20 at the time of publication) really began work on this book at age 14 when she became interested in charities, and started researching and compiling notes on different charitable organizations and how they spend their money. Her parents encouraged her to expand her research and turn it into a book to inspire other young people.
This book was just what E was hoping for. The first half discusses why to give, how to choose a cause, types of contributions (money, things, and time/effort), fund-raising ideas, and more. There are also sections on why it is important to know how a charity spends its money and how to avoid scams.
The last portion is a guide to tons of kid-friendly charities arranged by subject (“People,” “Animals,” and “The Environment”). It explains what each charity does and gives contact information, website, breakdown of how each dollar donated is spent, etc.
There is a small section for notes at the end, although my daughter likes to just put a check mark by her preferred charities. The hard cover and fold-over magnetic flap make it appealing in almost a diary, or notebook-like way.
My daughter likes to sit and read it, and I am happy to let her do so. Since this is a guide for children, the charities are comprehensible to children. You will not find yourself having to explain to your 7 year-old what a rape crisis center is, for example.
My children’s “charity of the day” is the African Wildlife Foundation (discovered through this book). They have already “adopted” one animal, a leopard, and are working on raising money to adopt another.
A final note: The recommended age range for the A Kids Guide to Giving, is 12 and up. My daughter is only 7, but she is an excellent reader. In my opinion, this book is suitable for children younger than age 12 provided they have the necessary interest and reading skills.
GREAT REALTED LINK: Topaz Took was kind enough to offer a link (in her comment on my Heifer-results post) to a wonderful website called Doing Good Together, about volunteering together as a family. There is a wealth of information including how to get your family involved in helping others, as well as an interesting resources section (books, videos, and websites arranged by topic and age). Thank you Topaz!