Japan: Teach your kids charity

posted on March 23, 2011 by  |  posted under Family Time, Fun With Kids, Parenting  |  27 Comments
Japan Teach your kids charity

I started this post thinking I was a brilliant mother that was going to teach my kids all about one of the values I treasure most…charity.  Guess what?  My kids taught me.

We have all seen the news and watched all the pictures flash across the T.V. of the devestation in Japan.  If you are like me you shed a few tears and your heart breaks a little just thinking about it.  But what do you do?  Are your kids asking questions like mine?  Do you know the answers?  I don’t.  But a light bulb went off in my head – I want to teach my kids that we can do something.  It may not change the world, but if we all do something – that is better than nothing, right?

What can we do?

I called my good friend who happened to be in Japan a few years ago during their last earthquake in hopes of getting a few ideas of what the people in Japan would need.  After a tear jerking conversation and many wonderful ideas like water, baby wipes, baby powder (to use in your hair so you don’t have to waste your water to wash your hair) I was back to square one because how in the world would I get these great products to the people anyway?  So next I called the humanitarian department for my church to see if I could put hygeine kits together, that is something my kids could help me with and understand.  They said the contacts they have in Japan are asking for two things.

1. Prayers….check.

2. Monetary donations….let’s do it.

I was trying to stay away from donating money, because I didn’t think my kids would get it.  Again, wrong.  I called my mom (moms know everything, right?)  Yes.  Yes she does.  She had a brilliant idea!

Why not have them save their money for Japan.  They can do extra chores to earn money, they can go without popcorn on popcorn Friday at school, they can put all the money they find in the couch and instead of keeping the money to buy the latest and greatest whatever, they can donate it instead.  I said in all my wisdom, “Mom, that won’t add up to anything – it won’t make a difference.”  She said in all HER wisdom, “Just think of what your kids will learn.”  Sacrafice for others, working together as a family toward a common goal,  just knowing that they don’t have to watch the devastation and do nothing.  They can do SOMETHING.  Like I said – moms know everything.

But here is something this mom (I) didn’t know.  How some kids must be born with charity.  I didn’t teach them one. thing.  All it took was printing off this little label…

taping it to a jar and showing it to my kids.  The jar is already 1/3 full.  My oldest (9 yearsold)  immediately left to go find the $10.00 he had been saving in his wallet.  When he couldn’t find his wallet he was upset.  5 minutes later I found him sorting through his Pokemon collection, when I inquired about it he told me how he couldn’t find his money so he was going to sell his Pokemon on ebay and donate the money to Japan.

Charity lesson…check.

It’s not all charity over here, however.  I asked my 5 year old if she wanted to donate any of her recently acquired birthday money, “No mom, I need that money for Disneyland!”

Charity lesson…in progress.

Once you collect your money, what do you do with it?

There are a LOT of scams out there trying to get your money, but here are a few places I TRUST where you can donate.

(with some of these you can also get something great in return)

If you live in Utah, you have noticed these “pass it on” ads:


The guy pictured in the above picture is Brooks Dame.  You can read more about him from a good friend, here, but basically he rocks and among other things, he is making and selling these hot sunglasses on his website, proof.


Brooks is taking ALL PROFITS from Proof sales and donating them to disaster relief in Japan. You get a stylin’ new pair of shades. Japan receives aid.  He has been doing this for a week and today is the last day.

TODAY, Wednesday until midnight MST. ALL PROFITS.

of course there is the American Red Cross – and speaking of ebay, I was reading about a program they have on ebay where you can sell or buy items and the money earned goes directly to the American Red Cross.  I am not sure if you can specify where the funds go with this option, but with the link above, you can specify for Japan.

Cheri at I am momma hear me roar is giving 100% of the funds from the sales of the pattern to make this cute bag starting next week.

Coming soon…

HowDoesShe is teaming up with some of the TOP blogs to bring you a recipe book worth having.

We are hoping to have it ready very soon and 100% of the money will be donated to disaster relief in Japan.  I will keep you posted.  What are some of our favorite blogs that you would LOVE to see a recipe from?

Motivated?  I hope so.


Together we WILL make a difference, and hopefully our kids will learn a valuable lesson in the process.

What are you doing to help?

Japan Teach your kids charity

    1. March 23rd, 2011 at 6:38 am
      Shelley says:
      This post totally tugged at my heart strings. I want to seriously HUG your kids Missy. -Where did you get that printable for the 'Money for Japan'?
    2. March 23rd, 2011 at 8:25 am
      Jen says:
      Thanks for inspiring us Missy! Jared is such a sweetie! We need to get our kids together over this break!
    3. March 23rd, 2011 at 8:32 am
      Emily @ ReMarkable Home says:
      Thanks for bringing a tear to my eye. I love this. I love how loving kids naturally are. They are really SO good...much better than we give them credit for!
    4. March 23rd, 2011 at 9:12 am
      Bridget says:
      What a great idea! Going to try this w/ my own children.. Thanks for sharing!
    5. March 23rd, 2011 at 9:37 am
      stacy says:
      LOVE.LOVE.LOVE this post! That is what life is about...learning to serve and help each other. I love how you are doing something and teaching your kids that they can make a difference...that is so valuable! Thank you for the printable. I am copying you today! Thanks to you and your sweet kids for inspiring me!
    6. March 23rd, 2011 at 10:46 am
      Susie says:
      I love this idea, but I have been struggling on how to do something like this in the past for my 3 1/2 year old. She doesn't really get birthday money and we haven't started to do allowance, so all the money comes from me, which is fine but to me defeats the real meaning. I would love to hear ideas on this for younger kids and also for only children. :)

      • March 29th, 2011 at 10:06 pm
        Sarah H says:
        We gave my 5 year old daughter special extra chores (she wiped down the bathroom counters and toilet) to earn money which she then donated to the Red Cross via buckets at her school. Because it was something she earned (it was above and beyond her usual house chores) I don't think it defeats the purpose.
    7. March 23rd, 2011 at 11:33 am
      Tea Rose Home says:
      Thank you so much for your post. I am from Japan, and my friends and I are trying to help people in Japan as well. Your kids are so awesome. :)
    8. March 23rd, 2011 at 11:41 am
      Nicole says:
      Great post missy. We can all help and we should. I will show it to Rina, she will love to hear that people want to help. She is really hoping everyone wil help, that they can not overcome with out our help!!!
    9. March 23rd, 2011 at 11:56 am
      Ruby Girl says:
      I so appreciate this! Great emphasis on what is truly important. EverRubyGirl.blogspot.com
    10. March 23rd, 2011 at 12:57 pm
      Christy B says:
      The Sunday after the quake, we awoke to our 6 yr old daughter eagerly showing us a shoebox she had turned into a donation box with "Help Japan" written in crayon inside the lid. She had been up early emptying her piggy bank. She asked her daddy to donate. He went online and contributed $100 to UMCOR (every penny of donations to UMCOR goes to relief...no administrative costs are taken out of donations).
      Our daughter took her shoebox to church the following Sunday and asked the congregation to donate. She got permission to take it to school tomorrow and Friday. So far, the shoebox holds about $300. All donations will be sent to UMCOR.
      This is just her nature. She turns 7 in May and is asking her guests to bring donations for the rainforest instead of gifts. I am more than proud of this global-minded little girl.
    11. March 23rd, 2011 at 3:14 pm
      Mindy says:
      I LOVE this post! You are so right, we can do SOMETHING. I'm getting on this TODAY. I love your sweet hearted kids. You say you didn't do anything, but they get that from you. No one has a kinder heart.
    12. March 23rd, 2011 at 5:59 pm
      scrapsofcandy says:
      My friend's 7-year-old, moved by the images of Japan, setup a lemonade and cookie stand last Saturday and raised just over $400 for The Salvation Army to help with their disaster services program in Japan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPsubC_mImM
    13. March 23rd, 2011 at 6:12 pm
      Rozalynn says:
      My kids and I have organized a neighborhood service project to make hygiene kits to be donated. People want to be engaged in a cause, it only takes organizing.
    14. March 23rd, 2011 at 6:37 pm
      Nesleirbag says:
      What Mindy and Stacy said!
    15. March 24th, 2011 at 7:44 am
      Bob says:
      Great idea!!! Loved the story of your 9 year old. He must be a great kid!!
    16. March 24th, 2011 at 8:11 am
      Alison says:
      I am excited to see this bloggers book! Cute post!
    17. March 25th, 2011 at 12:43 am
      Emily says:
      My 7 and 5 yo girls also were dying to do something. They created artwork to sell to raise money. They spent hours creating masterpieces and then we visited our friendly neighbors and grandparents. We asked a quarter per piece and in 2 days thru made $4, which I told them I would match. It isn't much, but when they each gave our church bishop their envelopes (you can write "japan" under the humanitarian column) they were definitely pleased. It doesn't matter how much they give, but that their hearts are turned in compassion to others!
      • March 25th, 2011 at 3:33 pm
        Missy says:
        How fun! I love ideas that get the kids involved so they can feel like they are helping! Thanks for sharing:)
    18. March 25th, 2011 at 9:02 am
      Dianne @ The Inspired Housewife says:
      This is a great post! I love the lessons you are already teaching. I'd love for you to link up this post at Change Your World Fridays on my blog - it's a place just for posts like this that will hopefully inspire others to do things like what you are doing! Thanks!

    19. April 2nd, 2011 at 8:08 am
      CandaceH says:
      This post literally brought tears to my eyes. My family was stationed in Japan for three years (courtesy of the Navy) and we just recently moved back less than a year ago. It absolutely makes my heart swell to see just how much people are willing to do to try and help others when faced with such a terrible disaster. <3

      The people of Japan are the kindest, most respectful human beings I have EVER had the pleasure of coming in contact with, and the fact that I was able to call their host nation my home for three wonderful years was a dream come true. The people I met over there (American, Japanese, or otherwise) were not just my friends, they were my family. So to see my "family" going through such a devastation, I want nothing more than to hop on the first plane over there and be part of the help. But, because I have a family to take care of here, I am not able to offer my physical help over there. I have talked with many-a-volunteers over there, and they are suggesting any type of clothing (Japan has crazy weather that bounces from the 80's to the 40's this time of year, and especially further north where the majority of the damage is, it's still very cold up there), baby clothes, sheets, blankets, diapers, wipes, formula, bottled water, and rice (as it is a staple item of their diet), among other things.

      Thank you for the wonderful, heart-felt post. It is so great to see other parents trying to instill good morals and ethics to their children (and anyone else who is open to learning!)

    20. April 4th, 2011 at 8:09 pm
      makayla says:
      you are smart
    21. March 3rd, 2013 at 1:20 pm
      Woddy says:
      This is a heart warming post. To know that wood sunglasses can do that kind of good is remarkable.
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