Charitable giving should be a focus on Valentine's Day as this special day is all about love, caring and sharing. What better way to celebrate the true spirit of Valentine's Day than giving back to those in need. For families it is a great way to introduce your children to the idea of giving to others. It is also a wonderful community service idea for a high school team or club!
Here is a relevant excerpt of my recently published article about how our family added a component of giving back on Valentine's Day.
Fun Valentines Day Ideas
"Valentines Day, February 14th, is a fun day for both young and old! It is a day to think of those we love and celebrate friendship and kindness. In our home, we always added a component of giving to the day. We'd collect coins in a big decorated Valentines Day jug that we had decorated shortly after Christmas and have fun watching it grow. On Valentines Day we would count the coins and decide where we would donate the monies. One year it was the local volunteer Fire Department as my son thought since the trucks were red and Santa always visited the town with the firemen each year, that they should receive the gift. We tried to make the kids focus on the ideas of loving and caring as well as the fun of receiving."
Here are photos of our Valentines Day Giving Jug from many years ago.
It was amazing how much we would collect in pennies
alone from New Year's til Valentines Day. They would ask anyone that
came to visit if they could put their pennies in there. We let the kids
decorate the jug and decide who would be the recipient of the proceeds.
It was one of our best family projects.
You have plenty of time to get started either in your home, your child's classroom, Sunday School, Scout troop, sports team/booster club or even your office. Start your own Valentine's Day Giving Jug. It is a perfect opportunity for children to help others. Celebrate the true spirit of Valentines' Day by moving the focus to giving back to others with charitable giving.
See how how creative community adapted this charitable giving idea for high school clubs and athletic teams.. what a wonderful idea and it also helps the students to earn community service hours for college too!
Update as of 1/1 - We have received so many wonderful comments from visitors to this page who have shared their own ideas. Yesterday a High School Basketball Team Booster Club president wrote me that they are going to use this idea and have the jug out at lunchtime and at the door of all the games and donate all proceeds to one of the relief organizations helping in Megastorm Sandy victims in New York/New Jersey. The school has approved already. The boys will be involved with the publicity, spreading the word around school, manning the jug at lunchtime and counting the monies.
Update 1/22: A high school Student Council President wrote to tell us how they are adapting the Valentines Giving Jug idea. Their Student Government is sponsoring a "Penny War" between each class to raise money for a local charity. Here's how a penny war works according to Wikipedia: "The value of any pennies collected by a group count positively toward that group's point total, while the value of other coins or dollar bills are subtracted. Hence, in a competition between Group A and Group B, a contributor who wants Group A to win will place pennies into Group A's bucket and nickels, dimes, quarters, or dollar bills into Group B's bucket." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_war) The SGO President advised that each class will have a their own jug, labeled with their graduation year. The Penny War jugs will come out before and after school and at lunchtime and will be manned by volunteers from each class. At the end of the fundraiser, the class that wins the penny war will decide which non-profit organization will receive the total proceeds. The faculty advisors are on board and supportive of this fundraiser. Thank you to Lincoln High for sharing a great charitable giving idea. Advice from us - Whenever running a fundraiser be sure that there is accountability for the monies raised. Have the monies stored safely at the school during the fundraiser and have the advisor there to monitor the counting of the monies. Be sure the announce which charity is receiving the monies, the amount donated and have the school issue a check.
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