As a mum of three young children, founder of Gift-It-Forward, Theresa understands the hassle of buying birthday presents for kids’ birthdays. Buying presents aren’t just the only troublesome part. She also realised that despite parents’ efforts, gifts tend to be duplicated, tossed aside and simply not appreciated.
To solve that problem, she came up with Gift-It-Forward. The concept is simple – you set up an event on the website and invite guests to contribute money that goes to paying for a gift the kid really wants. But there’s a catch. And it’s a really good one. The child also has to commit at least 50 percent of the donations to a chosen charity. Guests make their donations via Paypal on the website, and within 14 days after the event is closed, both the charity and you receive your payment.
The charities that Gift-It-Forward works with might be concise but they cover a good range of social issues such as animal protection (SPCA), terminally ill children (Make-A-Wish Foundation) and cancer research (Community for Cancer Fund.)
A better way to teach generosity
We love the idea of making a child’s birthday more than just cake and a party (not that those things aren’t great). Gift-It-Forward creates a moment to initiate a meaningful conversation with your child on generosity and kindness. Something that becomes increasingly important as your child hits the “I WANT!” and “GIMME!” phase.
This Psychology Today article raises the great point that while parents sometimes turn to making their kids feel guilty for being self-centred to curb the behaviour, it might be more effective to make them feel good about giving.
Gift-It-Forward creates small moments that allow the child to practise generosity, and experience the feel-good vibes and impact of their actions.
With repeated acts of generosity, your child understands and appreciates the merits and is more likely to repeat the act. And over time, he also starts to define himself as a generous person, and that sets the foundation that steers his decisions.
Explain what each organisation does, and the ways in which his contributions will help other people. Ask him for his input, and encourage him to decide on a charity. This way, he’s more vested in the act, and feels great about being part of it.
At the end of the day, he gets the present he wants, and the experience of helping others. That’s as win-win as a situation gets, if you ask us!
For more information on Gift-It-Forward, click here.