It may be easy for you to go through your house and find things you no longer need or have grown out of, but, it can be more difficult for a child to give up their possessions. Children tend to develop attachments to the toys they have. Although your child may put up a fuss, it’s important to teach them about caring, goodwill and compassion for others.

One of the best ways to teach your child about selflessness can be to have them go through their room and find gently used toys, books or clothes they’d like to give or donate. When you are approaching them, make sure to tell them why you want them to pick out these items, instead of simply telling them to find things they don’t want anymore. While explaining the importance of giving, keep their age and maturity in mind. You can say something such as “some people don’t have money to buy toys. I know you haven’t played with that truck in a long time, and it could make another little child very happy.” Consider the timing as well — having them go through their toys before Christmas because other children may not receive anything during that time, or around their birthday because other children may not receive birthday presents. You don’t need to guilt them, but it’s a good reminder that they understand not everyone is as lucky or fortunate as they are.

After they understand why you want them to find items, ask for their input on what they think your household doesn’t need anymore. Once you have your child on-board with donating, the process can be very fun for them! Include them in bringing the gently used items to the location, so they can better understand the process of what happens to those items after they are donated. Remember to reward them for their efforts with acknowledgment and praise.

Not only will this process give your child the experience of giving, it may also open their eyes to all the things they can be grateful for in their own life.

Consider donating to ThriftWorks!, a thrift store owned and operated by WACOSA, a nonprofit serving adults with disabilities. All proceeds from ThriftWorks! benefit the mission to provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to work and live in their community.

We can accept:

  • Women’s, men’s and children’s clothing & shoes
  • Books, movies, games
  • Toys
  • Small household appliances
  • Housewares
  • Jewelry & accessories
  • Linen & bedding
  • Tools
  • Furniture (after reviewed and approved)