Make giving a family affair

Giving to others just makes ya feel good
Jan. 04, 2013 @ 09:22 AM

Happy New Year!  The season for getting is over…it’s time to turn this new year into the spirit of giving! 
According to a University of British Columbia study, children “exhibit positive emotions when giving to others,” and the earlier you get them started, the more they (and others) can benefit.
A peak time for donating toys is following the Christmas holiday when new toys and items find their into your child’s heart!  With new toys coming into your house, now is a great time to sort through ‘old’ toys and share them with kids in need.
But, before you throw a bunch of toys in a bag and send them off to a charity, please keep these things in mind to guarantee a smile on the face of the proud new owner:


Donated toys should be safe and lead-free. 
Please check to make sure the toys you are donating have not been recalled and are lead-free (There are a lot of lists available noting toys that have been found to contain lead).


Donated toys should be clean. 
Please rinse, clean and sanitize the toys you are donating. 
Be sure the donation still has its “loving feelin’.” 
Remember that a donation is not a garbage alternative.  If it’s chipped, chewed on or marked up, don’t donate it.


Include your kids in decisions with charitable giving. 
Don’t sneak out with the old toys and hope your kids won’t notice. Remember that charitable giving helps teach kids the value of sharing and generosity. You may consider talking with your kids about donating one toy for every new one received during holidays and birthdays.  Or, establish a monthly donation event in which all family members go through their clothing and toys to determine which ones no longer fit or are played with. 
Then, together, they go to a charity of choice and make the donation as a family.
Enlisting your kids in the process of donating — and choosing where to send items — not only will help them experience the joy of giving, but might open their eyes (and yours, too) to all the remarkable things to be grateful for in their own lives.

Resource of the Week:  Check with local child care facilities or churches to see if they need gently used toys. Smart Start of Davidson County also accepts toy donations.

Bill Pless is the executive director of Smart Start of Davidson County. He can be reached at 249-6688.