When I saw the Learning Cents bank on Cool Mom Picks, I wanted it for my daughter immediately. The bank has three compartments, so kids can earmark their money for spending, saving, or giving (tzedakah in Hebrew). And at only $20, I thought it was a very good use of my own spending money.
Now, on those rare occasions when we remember to give Jo an allowance--and on the much more frequent occasions when she receives a gift of money--she cheerfully deposits it into all three parts of her bank. It's such a simple, clear way to show her that we need to prioritize saving and giving just as highly as spending.
(Opie gets an E for effort for his suggestion, during a recent discussion about giving away gently used toys: "I don't really like my piggy bank anymore. We can give that to children who don't have one.")
Typically Jo uses her giveaway stash for the fundraisers that she participates in at school and child care (and we match whatever she contributes). But after her recent hospital stay(s), I'm going to suggest that we make a donation to one of the charities that helped her, or a similar one that benefits sick kids. On her first night at our local children's hospital, her bed was made up with a quilt from Project Linus and a teddy bear from the Starlight Children's Foundation. These small touches really helped an institutional room feel more friendly, and she snuggled up with that quilt every single night.
You know I had to participate in this Blog Blast from Parent Bloggers Network: It benefits Generation Cures, an online community for tweens designed to teach them about altruism and about medicine and science. The site was created by Children's Hospital Boston.