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How the Mensch Stole Christmas

Everyone, no matter how young, can be a philanthropist.

Mensch; Yiddish, means "a good person"

 
No matter how young, everyone can be a philanthropist. Even if your time to volunteer is limited or you do not have the financial means to contribute, you can still be involved and introduce your child to the power of compassion and show they have the ability to make a difference by simply giving of themselves. Families inspire by example so talk to your child about what is most important to them and what you can do to support their ideas. Then contact a nonprofit where your child has expressed their passions and figure out what you can do to help OR start your own.

Some ideas can be to do a collection drive with friends, family or neighbors: 

If you are involved with a group like a dance class (collect old ballet shoes, tutus and outfits) or sports league (gather sneakers, equipment, clothes), you can give those items to children who cannot afford it. Turn to social networking and spread the news on your Facebook or Twitter page and ask others if want to join you. Make it a holiday activity with your playgroup, sports league or class, put an announcement in your company’s newsletter or church/temple bulletin, or just share it with five people and ask them to do the same. 

Get on the email list for Center for Volunteers and Nonprofit Leadership. They send out regular emails for a wide variety of volunteer opportunities from school gardens to reading and literacy. YouthGive is another excellent resource for inspiration. Serena and Lily have created a wonderful kit called the World Repair Guidebook which makes an excellent holiday gift for your budding mensch.

The ideas in this article are just small nuggets to inspire you to your family of every age and ability to get involved in philanthropic opportunities. And hopefully, these values you share now with your children will continue in their future. 

Here are some other non-profit volunteer opportunities for families of all ages in Marin County:

Environmental 

Animal 

Human Volunteer Opportunities

For more information, visit us at Marinhood, The Ultimate Kids Events Round-Up In Marin And Beyond.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tina McMillan December 31, 2011 at 07:37 AM
What a wonderful article! In addition to being a mensch, you can perform a mitzvah or good deed by acting in the spirit of Tikkun Olam which means to repair the world. The idea is to give where ever it is needed. It doesn't have to be a nonprofit group to be an act of kindness. We all have the capacity to give in our day to day lives to our friends, our families and even to strangers. Each time we perform an act of kindness we heal the divide that separates us from one another and according to scripture bring ourselves closer to God. Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy New Year!
Edwin Drake December 31, 2011 at 09:17 AM
And the anti-semitic title for this article comes from where? It's completely misleading.
Tina McMillan December 31, 2011 at 04:47 PM
Edwin I took it as tongue-in-cheek, not anti-semitic.
Marinhood January 09, 2012 at 05:27 PM
In case you are wondering, I am the author and I am Jewish. It's not anti-semitic in the slightest. I'm sad you would think otherwise.
John Ferguson January 09, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Don't worry about offending Edwin. It's inevitable - he doesn't like anything.
Tina McMillan January 10, 2012 at 02:46 AM
John I think the idea is to get less divisive not more. It is a wonderful article. I appreciate the list of agencies. Thank you Marinhood.
Marinhood January 11, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Thank you...and happy New Year to you all (even you, Edwin =))

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