Why Family Volunteering?

DrawCommunity Why Choose Family Volunteering with A Magic Penny? The age-old song about a magic penny states that when you give love away, it will come back to you. A Magic Penny is committed to helping your family experience philanthropy in a way that will change both the community and your children for the better.

In today’s world there are many buzz words about whether or not your parenting choices will prepare your child for the future. Words like “self-esteem,” “emotional intelligence,” “attachment parenting,” “helicoptering,” “21st century skills,” “digital literacy,” “screen time,” and so on infiltrate our media. Parents are left wondering, “What is the best combination of these techniques to raise happy, productive members of society?”

A Magic Penny believes that engagement in family philanthropy deserves to be a key component of our parenting practices. The act of helping others offers real-life opportunities to practice essential skills that are necessary to becoming productive and caring citizens. Service to others is active engagement in character building. Here are many of the ways we see it benefitting our children:

Building Emotional Intelligence

Children can use volunteering not only to discover important truths about the world around them, but also use it as an opportunity for self-discovery. As they are exposed to difficult concepts, they learn what they care about and stand for. They learn about the lives of others, gaining opportunities to practice empathy skills. Your guidance (with the support of A Magic Penny) can help them process these realizations about the complexities of life. Volunteering with your children helps you scaffold these important conversations and learn how to cope with some of the difficult emotions involved.

Building Values

Service to others provides hands-on lessons around the types of values we want to teach our children. Most parents expect their children to demonstrate kindness to others, which they hope later develops into compassion and empathy. Philanthropy exercises a child’s “kindness muscle.” Practicing kindness helps them begin to internalize this as one of their personal traits. Philanthropy can also help build a sense of responsibility (beyond things like chores and homework that parents often nag their children about). Serving others teaches kids not just how to accept responsibility for life’s tasks, but how to be “response-able.” Volunteering helps them recognize that their efforts and contributions make a difference and have real impact. Developing kindness and a responsibility towards others in childhood can lay the foundation for values such as fairness, justice and human rights in the long term.

Building Relationships

Research has shown that when people can identify with another person and establish commonalities with them, they are more likely to help that person. As children engage in volunteering, they are able to meet people from all walks of life with stories that are different to their own, and yet having face-to-face interactions that allow them to build connections and find commonalities. They also learn that despite being different, we can all work together toward a common purpose or goal. This offers your family opportunities to discuss how commonalities and differences between people are not mutually exclusive. These taken together are what create the human experience- being both a unique individual while also being connected to others. These foundations can help reduce tendencies towards stereotyping or biases.

Building Self-Awareness

Your child gets to know more about who they are through volunteering experiences. As children volunteer to help others through the variety of social themes and projects that A Magic Penny provides, they have opportunities to explore their own interests, skills and talents. They are able to try out different roles and responsibilities and experience how their efforts help create observable and meaningful change. They can practice things they are good at in the real world while also putting these skills to good use. These experiences build self-identity, self-esteem and self-confidence.

A Magic Penny believes that volunteering and philanthropy offers parents a vibrant blend of providing children both roots and wings: their character rooted in kindness and empathy, and their wings established as they become empowered to affect positive change in our world. We are glad to support your family’s philanthropic journey where together we build emotional intelligence, values, relationships, and skills- creating the foundation of a meaningful life. We invite you to experience the benefits of giving and receiving love through your involvement with A Magic Penny!

Written by Marissa Nadjarian.  © 2016 A Magic Penny. All rights reserved.