Teaching Children to Give—Involving Them in Charitable Programs
The single most impactful thing you can do to teach your children to fall in love with giving is to involve them in giving activities, discussing throughout them why you are giving (what the cause is for) and how it makes you and the recipients feel.
Sometimes, identifying volunteer programs that allow young children to participate in can be difficult. Today, I came across Feed It Forward (perfect name, right?). It is a charitable initiative that allows you to send $10 restaurant gift certificates to 30 people each day during the holiday season. And here's the clencher: It's free and only requires a few bits of data and the click of your mouse. What's more is that you can involve your kids by coming up with a list of friends together and sitting and completing the information side by side.
You have 18 days left to take advantage of this giving opportunity. That's 540 people you can send gift certificates to. Get ready. Get set. Go!
The Feed It Forward initiative is built upon a single giving Web site, www.Restaurant.com/FeedItForward, stocked with a total of three million, $10 Restaurant.com gift certificates totaling $30 million. The site will be live through midnight PST on Dec. 25 and allows individuals to go online to give gift certificates on a first come, first serve basis. Gift givers choose whom to give to and gift recipients then decide where to dine among more than 6,500 participating Restaurant.com restaurants nationwide.
To send free $10 gift certificates, gift givers simply enter their name and email address, as well as information for the people they wish to give to—as many as 30 people each day for the length of the initiative. They can go to www.Restaurant.com/FeedItForward every day and share gift certificates with people anywhere in the country, giving out a total value that far exceeds even the most impressive holiday gift giving budget during the healthiest of economic times.
Once a participant selects their chosen recipients, they can share a brief note about why they are giving. Restaurant.com will feature some of these messages of appreciation on the Feed It Forward home page and, if chosen by the individual, will send the giver’s personal message along with the gift certificate. As people join in the celebration of giving and give away gift certificates, a U.S. map displayed on the site will depict the areas of the country where the giving is happening along with keeping track of the amount given in real time.
Feed It Forward 2009 features include:
- Generous “daily give” allowance—Givers can give to up to 30 people per day, with the potential of giving up to $9,000 worth of Restaurant.com gift certificates through the duration of the program.
- Feed It Forward Facebook application—The application allows givers to easily access their friend network and select those they wish to give to. Recipients are sent messages alerting them of their free gift and givers’ status updates will reflect the amount of gift certificates they have given and who has received them.
- Personal message delivery—Beyond sharing their giving story publicly on the giving site, participants can choose to write a separate, private note that will be sent along with the electronic gift certificate, making the surprise of a gift certificate that much more meaningful.
Restaurant.com is the trusted and valued source connecting restaurants and diners nationwide. The company offers savings at more than 13,000 restaurants nationwide with more than 20,000 gift certificate options. Restaurant.com brings people together to relax, converse and enjoy well-prepared and -served meals at affordable prices. To date, Restaurant.com customers have saved more than $100 million through the gift certificate program. Restaurant.com has operated since 1999 and is based in Arlington Heights, Ill.