We realize that not everyone can become directly involved, but we encourage everyone to spread the idea that small contributions can make a big difference. Here are some books for you and your kids to read. Perhaps they will jump start some conversations and some ideas of how you can best give back.
- Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
Through simple prose and vivid illustrations, this heartwarming book encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the well being of others and ourselves.
- Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three Rules for a Happier Life by Carol McCloud
Carol McCloud is taking the bucket filling message to the next level. Not only does she talk about new levels of bucket filling and bucket dipping, but this book goes into depth about how to put a lid on your bucket. There are examples of how important situations in life need a lid to protect our buckets from being empty. This beautifully illustrated book will offer be a keepsake for children and adults.
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
This short story is a tale about the selfless services an apple tree offers a growing boy. The tree allows the boy to sell her apples for money, use her branches to build a home, and use her as a bench a sit on. Author Silverstein shows children (and adults!) the benefits of selfless giving.
- Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
After WWII, Rosie, who lives in the United States and Katje, who lives in Holland, become pen pals. Rosie learns about the rough conditions in Holland and sends care packages to Katje, experiencing the joys of international giving.
- The Spiffiest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson
When George the giant spies a shop full of wonderful clothes, he decides to treat himself to a new outfit. He puts on his new shirt, pants, shoes, and tie, and is immediately transformed from the scruffiest giant in town to the spiffiest giant in town. But on his way home, George runs into various animals who need his help. And little by little, George finds himself giving away all his new purchases. This is a lively tale that reminds readers that sometimes it’s what’s inside a person-or a giant-that matters most.
- A Kids Guide to Giving by Freddi Zeiler
Written by a kid for kids, A Kid’s Guide to Giving offers a comprehensible guide to giving money, volunteering, donating goods, and organizing charity events. A list of over 100 charities that benefit people, animals, and the environment makes it easy for kids to get involved with the organizations that mean the most to them. The guide includes everything kids need to know about making a difference in the world around them, A Kid’s Guide to Giving is a priceless addition to any child’s library. A great birthday, bar mitzvah, confirmation, or graduation gift, parents, relatives, and friends can include a note or check to get kids started on the road to giving their time, money, and effort in this valuable book. Winner of an iParenting media award for “Greatest Products of 2006”!
The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back by Hannah Salwen, Kevin Salwen
It all started when 14-year old Hannah Salwen, idealistic but troubled by a growing sense of injustice in the world, had a eureka moment when a homeless man in her neighborhood was juxtaposed against a glistening Mercedes coupe. “You know, Dad,” she said, pointing, “If that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal.” This glaring disparity led the Salwen family of four, caught up like so many other Americans in this age of consumption and waste, to follow Hannah’s urge to do something, to finally just do something. And so they embarked on an incredible journey together from which there would be no turning back. They decided to sell their Atlanta mansion, downsize to a house half its size, and give half of their profits to a worthy charity. At first it was an outlandish scheme. “What, are you crazy? No way!” Then it was a challenge. “We are TOTALLY doing this.” Each week they met over dinner to discuss their plan. It would transport them across the globe and well out of their comfort zone. Along the way they would inspire so many others wrestling with the same questions: Do I give enough? How much is enough? How can I make an impact in the world? In the end the Salwens’ journey would bring them closer as a family, as they discovered, together, that half could be so much more. Warm, funny, deeply moving and wholly uplifting, The Power of Half is the story of how one family slammed the door on the status quo and threw away the key.
- The Power of Giving: How Giving Back Enriches Us All by Azim Jamal & Harvey McKinnon
Simple and easy to use, The Power of Giving provides a wealth of down-to-earth ideas, exercises, and real-life stories that reveal to each reader the unique gifts he or she has to give — including kindness, ideas, advice, attention, hope, and more — and the many ways you can benefit from giving them, from better health to better job prospects.