Activities and Practices that Foster Generosity in Children and Youth
- Worship experiences with opportunities for children and youth to contribute in the offertory, to assume leadership roles in the service, tell their stories, play music, and share their joys and concerns.
- Opportunities to volunteer in meaningful ways in congregational service activities and intergenerational events.
- Create leadership roles and training experiences for children and youth to contribute their skills and talents.
- Take the time to educate children and youth in the rights and responsibilities of membership, including ways that they can appropriately contribute financially as well as in service to the congregation and wider association.
- Give children and youth a voice in the budgetary and financial decisions that concern them. This may include decisions around contributing part of the offering to a social justice cause, fund-raising opportunities, youth group budget line.
- Tell the stories of the ways Unitarian Universalism and the congregation has made a difference in your life and in the wider world. Model generosity of spirit and giving.
- Worship or program leaders has a stack of crisp new dollar bills, one per child. Engage the children in conversation about different ways we get money (earn it, save it, receive it as a gift), and the things we do with it. Then play a game: give the children a chance to earn a dollar by playing. With two volunteers, hold one dollar up vertically and let it drop toward one’s outstretched finger & thumb. You need fast reflexes to catch it! If you catch it, you keep it! After a couple of practice demonstrations, pass out the dollars bills for the children to try in pairs. After everyone has a chance to play, there is a new round. Give each child a dollar and invite them to think about what they would do with their dollar. Would they spend it, save it, or give it away? Follow up with the children in a couple of weeks to ask them what they chose to do with the dollar they were given.
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