This is our “Candy Bank,” it is our extension of the Halloween “Candy Fairy” concept. Every time the kids go to a birthday party and come home with a bunch of candy and junky toys, they can choose to put them in “The Candy Bank.” When the jar is full, I give them $10.00 to donate to a charity of their choice.
My original plan had been to buy them each a small gift when the jar was full, but before I was able to suggest the gift idea, my daughter said she wanted to use the Candy Bank as a way to collect money for charity. My son was enthusiastic about the charity idea too, so that is what we are doing with our Candy Bank!
They were so excited, that after putting in their candy, they asked if toys could go in too.
“Of course!!!” I said, hardly believing my good fortune!
They rushed off to collect bits and pieces and, in under ten minutes, they had the jar completely filled. At $10.00 per jar this could get expensive, but for a good cause, I don’t mind. I didn’t realize that it would be filled so quickly, but I am so grateful for their enthusiasm.
We had a very interesting dinnertime conversation that night about some different charities and what they do. My daughter apparently still remembers seeing the Smile Train website over a year ago, because she asked me about the charity that fixes children’s mouths.
The two junior philanthropists have decided to donate the first batch of Candy Bank money to Heifer International, since my daughter is trying to earn money for her class to buy animals and seedlings from Heifer International to donate to a village in Africa. After the class places the Heifer order, then the kids want to donate to Smile Train.
Honestly, I am blown away by this whole concept that we have stumbled upon, and especially by the children’s excitement.
What a win-win:
+ The kids develop a sense of altruism and learn to enjoy helping others.
+ They also learn about saving up for something, a notion that we can extend to actual money later on.
+ Of course you won’t be surprised to hear how thrilled I am to eliminate candy and a bit of clutter from the house!
+ We have a few little toys to donate to a local charity thrift store.
+ I am also hoping to teach cooperation. Since we have only one jar and one sum of money, the two children must fill the jar together, and then together, come up with a plan for the money.
On a side note, a few days after the Candy Bank discussion, my daughter asked me if for Christmas she could get a book about different charities that exist and what each of them does. I definitely want to encourage this spirit of generosity as much as I can, so I immediately went onto Amazon and found this one which I have ordered (2016 update – still available but only used, worth it though!):
If we like it, I’ll write a review after Christmas.