Monday, June 16, 2014

3 Simple Rules for Teaching Philanthropy to Kids & the Great Camp Adventure Walk

How do we teach our children about philanthropy and why is it so important? I believe this quote from the great Maya Angelou answers that question.

"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver." - Maya Angelou

They always say that you get more from giving than receiving and that has always held true in my experience. So, what is the best way to teach children about philanthropy? I think there are 3 key rules that make it easy.

  1. Lead by example.
  2. Find a cause that is meaningful to them. (This helps to put their efforts into perspective)
  3. Make it fun. (I like to call it FUNdraising)

For my kids we have set out to raise funds for a few different charities but one close to our hearts that we fundraise over and over for is the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In the past the kids have made and sold Christmas ornaments, had a Rainbow Loom sale, done yard work for neighbours to raise funds and donated craft supplies that they purchased themselves. The hospital is a great cause for us because as rule #2 points out, you want it to be meaningful for them.

About a year and a half ago my daughter visited the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto for some tests. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience with compassionate doctors and nurses who erased her fears and made her feel safe and comfortable throughout what could have been a very scary day. We were lucky, at the end of our visit we were able to leave the hospital and go home but for many families their visits to the Hospital for Sick Children can last weeks or even months. 

This reality hit close to home this year and became abundantly clear to my children. My daughter has started visiting a friend at the Hospital for Sick Children when he is there for extended stays. These visits stick with her. Being surrounded by so many brave children who are terminally ill, battling terrible diseases and living away from home has had a profound impact on her.

This year there is a great fundraising event for SickKids that will be fun for the whole family (this hits rules #1 and #3 - awesome!). The Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk to benefit SickKids is like no other walk you've done with your family.  

On September 27th, 2014, you can join more than a thousand walkers as you take to the streets of downtown Toronto, united in a common goal of supporting SickKids and helping to improve children’s health. The walk is both stroller and wheelchair friendly so everyone can participate. As a family you can choose to walk 5, 10, 15, or 20 km. BUT here's what sets this walk apart. Along the route you will stop at fun-filled campsites. You will laugh, sing, play, meet new friends, collect camp badges. The day starts off with breakfast and finishes with dinner and closing campfires. So not only will you be teaching your kids about philanthropy and raising funds for a pivotal resource here in Toronto, you will get to experience it all with real camp spirit!

We are blessed to have a world renowned hospital right here in our city and to know that it is there for all Canadian families, no matter their financial situation. That said, they cannot do it alone so I encourage you to visit to learn more and register your family for the Great Camp Adventure Walk to benefit SickKids. It will be a full day of adventure, filled with unique games and activities that will challenge and entertain. More importantly you will be supporting The Hospital for Sick Children, helping to improve children’s health, and taking that first step to impart a lifetime of philanthropy in your children. 

  This post was brought to you by The SickKids Foundation, however the opinions are my own. 
For more information please visit


  1. really! it's so much fun to have kids, and you enjoy every single activity that you do with your kids. nice creativity by the way.

  2. I love your three tips. You make it so simple to support great causes - which is exactly how I can teach my daughter. Thanks!


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