The Christmas season is filled with many opportunities to teach children how to care for others in need. Here are five ways to involve kids of all ages in giving back:

Give the gift of Hope – Look through the Seasons of Hope online catalog as a family and together select one (or more!) gifts to help change the lives of the extreme poor. For as little as $20, you can share the Gospel with someone who has never owned a Bible before.

Host a creative fundraiser with the kids – Find an activity your children are passionate about and harness it to raise funds in a fun way. Host a charity soccer game in your community, a bake sale, a craft fair or even a talent show as a fundraiser for the extreme poor.

Start a charity box – Set up a box or even a piggy bank where kids can donate part of their allowance to the extreme poor. Older children and teens can pitch in from side jobs too. Parents can set an example by selling old clothes or skipping “extras” like a morning Starbucks and donating the money instead. Making philanthropic donations a regular activity in your home will reinforce the value of being others-centric.

Pray – Let your child choose a country to pray for. During bedtime or mealtime prayers, pray with your children for specific needs and challenges faced by the extreme poor in that given area — like food insecurity, lack of clean water or limited access to education. You can subscribe to Bright Hope e-blasts or read our Ally Connection Newsletter to see the latest prayer requests.

The empty plate – You may have seen this idea in a recent blog post by Bright Hope President C.H. Dyer, but it’s such a good one that it’s worth repeating. At special mealtimes, like Christmas dinner, leave an empty plate at the table as a reminder of those who often go hungry around the world. This is such a powerful way to think of others as well as to give thanks for God’s provision in our lives.

Also, coming this spring, there will be another chance to sign up for the Radiant Membership Program which will focus on connecting with communities Bright Hope partners with in Uganda. You can get on the waiting list to participate as a family. The content is best suited for older children and teens. The program includes an eight-week foundational course and ongoing videos where you will learn about the root causes of poverty and the best ways we can help make a difference as Allies to the extreme poor.

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