Materials for Activity
- Optional: A book or film version of A Christmas Carol
- Newsprint, markers and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Find out about charity projects that will accept new or gently used items donated by children. Possibilities include homeless shelters for families and children, organizations serving children in foster care, international aid organizations and Gulf Coast relief organizations still working to resettle families. If possible, obtain printed information about the project you will ask the group to support.
- Prepare a note to parents that describes this project and explains when and where children may bring items to donate. In your note, ask for the help you will need to collect, sort and deliver items.
Description of Activity
Read aloud part of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol or show some or all of a film version (see Find Out More).
Tell the children:
Ebenezer Scrooge saw that his greed and selfishness were directly responsible for the Cratchit family's hunger and poor health. Dickens was NOT saying we cause others' misery when we treat ourselves well. Instead, he was using Scrooge as an extreme example, to teach us something: When we take more than we need, there is likely someone nearby who needs that extra bit, or more.
Present the charity project you have selected. Describe the new or gently used books, socks, scarves, toys or other items you would like children to consider donating to a child who may need them more. Explain that children should consult with their parents before giving away any belongings.
Including All Participants
The group may include children who cannot or do not donate "extra" items. Plan a donation process that does not put any child on the spot. Avoid conveying any judgment about children's contributions.