#GivingTuesday Offers Way to Develop Compassion in Youth

volunteerTomorrow is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another. Directly combating the materialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season and provides a worldwide platform for encouraging the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges.

Because young people often have the desire, energy and idealism to do something about the injustice they see in the world, they can be powerful agents for change. America’s Promise believes that the chance to help others is a vital need for today’s youth. They state: “Through service to others and community, young Americans develop the character and competence they need to be helpful, hopeful and civically engaged all their lives, regardless of their own life circumstances.  The chance to give back teaches young people the value of service to others, the meaning of community, and the self-respect that comes from knowing that one has a contribution to make in the world.”

As a parent, providing your teen with the opportunity to have a positive impact on the world around them is important to their development into a successful adulthood.

As we all know, social media is a powerful tool for teenagers. While we sometimes feel that social media can hurt our children, it also has a lot of potential for good in their lives. #GivingTuesday is a perfect example, and it is a great opportunity to teach your teen compassion.

Talk to your teen about #GivingTuesday and see if they are interested in joining the movement. If they are, help them research some possible charities they would like to support. Once they have a cause in mind, encourage them to help their charity in one of the following ways:

Raise awareness

One way to affect change and make a difference in the world is by raising awareness for a cause or charity. Educating people about an issue can inspire others, which results in faster change because more people become involved. Many charities and causes will be sharing multiple posts, videos, images, and more on social networking sites during #GivingTuesday. Your teen can “share” the charity’s posts on their timeline, effectively educating their friends about the cause that matters most to them.

Raise money

Raising money is a specific way for students to contribute to community or national causes. Youth can organize fundraisers, set up auctions, participate in runs, or create a bake sale. They can post their efforts on their social media with the hashtag #GivingTuesday to inspire others and encourage them to contribute to their fundraising efforts. Raising money helps students feel like they are part of something big and significantly helps the cause.

Raise engagement

Volunteering to help a cause is one of the best ways to effect change in our world. For example, if your teen is concerned about homelessness, encourage them to donate their time in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Serving the people who are directly impacted gives young people firsthand knowledge of the situation, deepens their understanding, and builds empathy. They can snap a selfie during their service work and post it with the hashtag #GivingTuesday to encourage others to volunteer.

Final Thoughts…

We, too, at Middle Earth will be participating in #GivingTuesday, and we invite you to support our efforts to help youth develop into responsible adults by donating, serving others, or raising awareness of our efforts through our social media on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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