Camps and Education

Teaching Children the Importance of Giving

With the holiday season upon us, it’s important to step back and take a moment to reflect on everything we are fortunate to have. From our loved ones, good health and a place to call home, most of us have more than enough to be thankful for.

However, there are a lot of people in our community who are less fortunate. In a season where we will be showering our children and families with gifts, delicious treats and lots of love, it’s important to demonstrate to our children the importance of giving to those who may not receive all the holiday season offers.

While it may feel like a daunting task to emphasize the importance of giving with our children, remember that it’s human nature to want to give to others. Children are no exception. I see it in my child and those that come into my store.

From kindness and volunteering to money donations and tangible goods, we don’t need to stress about teaching our children to enjoy giving – it’s a natural desire. Children are inclined to mimic their parent’s actions. This holiday season, look for ways to lead by example.

6 ways to give this holiday season:

  • Volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank; not just during this increasingly busy time of year, but all year long.
  • Buy a meal for Meals on Wheels at local participating stores, including New Seasons.
  • Select a family to support over the holiday season who could benefit from some extra TLC.
  • Pick a name (or two!) to buy gifts for from a giving tree at local participating shopping centers, such as Lloyd Center and Washington Square.
  • Honor the memory of a loved one by giving on their behalf through a random act of kindness or charity of your choosing.
  • Don’t forget to gift neighbors, teachers or others who impact your life with homemade goodies and crafts that you and your children make together.

After the holiday indulgence has come and gone, help your children express their thankfulness. One of the best ways to teach children about giving is to have them reflect on receiving a gift and the excitement and happiness it brings them. It’s a logical next step for them to want to extend that feeling to another person.

As parents, we can teach them to write thank you notes and to share their appreciation with gift givers. Set aside time after the holidays to make thank you notes together. The holidays are a wonderful time to start the conversation on generosity, but it’s a year-round lesson.

About Carmen Ripley Wilson

As a child, Carmen Ripley Wilson grew up recycling, reusing and repurposing just about everything on her family’s farm in the coastal mountains of Oregon. Prior to opening Beanstalk, Carmen was a Naturopathic family physician. Carmen’s attentiveness to health, wellness and safety has strongly influenced the foundation for Beanstalk, a children’s resale store. Located in the Northeast Fremont and Southeast Montavilla neighborhoods, Beanstalk specializes in modern and hip children’s resale clothing, shoes, toys and gear. For more information, please visit

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