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Give Back This Holiday Season

daughter holding sick mother's hand

This week, I shared Ways that Kids Can Do Good at FaithGateway. In that piece, I wrote that

I think all parents worry about our children feeling spoiled and entitled to some degree (especially in America), but being spoiled and entitled is not a foregone conclusion.

I may have mentioned modeling good behavior in every blog post I’ve ever written, or maybe it just feels that way, but that’s where it starts.

As parents, we must:

  • Model altruism
  • Model charity
  • Model compassion

Make doing good part of our lives.

In that post, I shared 13 ways that kids can give back in their homes, churches, communities, and around the world. I hope you’ll go check them out.

This is a sponsored post.

But if we want (expect?) our kids to give back, we really do have to start by giving back ourselves.

There are so many ways that adults can get involved – many of them the same as kids – tithing at church, sponsoring children in poverty, volunteering at an animal shelter, sending Christmas cards to troops abroad, visiting the elderly in hospitals and nursing homes – but the needs in our communities and our nation go beyond simple things our kids can do.

Sometimes, we send a donation – the money we traded for our hard work and hours away from our families - to a favorite charity.

Sometimes, we do physical work for a neighbor or a local shelter. Groups from my church often go on missions trips – driving to another state to help with a big project, like Hurricane Sandy cleanup or building a youth center in the inner city.

Our kids see these works.

Today, I stopped to help to a family whose car broke down at a stop sign. (Remember safety first, please!) I may not be very handy, and I know absolutely nothing about cars, but I have a phone that works. It was at their service, had they wanted it.

Over the summer, I picked up an elderly woman, walking up a hill in the heat of the August sun with heavy bags of groceries, and I drove her to her house in the cool of my car’s air conditioning.

Not for a pat on the back.

Not for a reward.

Not even for a thank you.

I did it because it was good. It was the right thing.

I’m not going to tell you all my good deeds. I like having them in my pocket, my little secrets that nobody knows but me and God (and usually my kids because when do I ever do anything without them?).

My kids see my good things, and my kids do good things without hesitation.

Grace talks to a friendless kid at dance class. Allie hugs a crying friend and pats her back.

It starts small, but the important thing is that it starts.

That is all the reward I need.

Publisher’s Clearing House Gives Back

Publisher’s Clearing House, the company known for making families’ dreams come true for more than 60 years, also makes dreams come true for charities and individuals in need.

PCH Give Back

Their yearly Give Back event takes place on the Publisher’s Clearing House Facebook page, and you can get involved!

When you visit their page, you can read more about the 3 charities participating this year:

  • The ASPCA (the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the first animal welfare organization established in North America. A national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services, the ASPCA works to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, whose lifesaving mission is to advance cures and means of prevention, for children battling cancer and other pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Thanks to donations, and consistent with the vision of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas, who believed that “no child should die in the dawn of life,” every child is provided treatment regardless of race, religion, or ability to pay.
  • The USO (United Service Organizations), a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization that provides programs, services and live entertainment to current and former United States troops and their families. For the last 70 years, the USO and its supporters have worked to fulfill its mission of lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families and expressing gratitude for their dedication and sacrifice.

How do you choose between them?

I can’t choose, so I’m going to split my votes among them. I can vote every day, so today was the ASPCA. Because puppies! and kittens! and turtles! Really, though, they do serious work trying to improve the lives of all animals. I’m sure they see things that I can’t even imagine.

Tomorrow, I’m going back to vote for St. Jude’s. Because sick kids! Going through a terminal illness with my mom was the worst experience of my life. I simply can’t let my imagination go to a place where the sick one is my child. I feel sick even typing out the words.

The next day, I’ll vote for the USO. My dad and his dad are veterans, and many of my cousins, friends, and former students are veterans or current members of the armed forces. These people give up their lives (in service or literally) to protect the things we take for granted, and I’m all for supporting them in any way I can.

Voting continues until next Monday, November 25, so I’ll keep rotating until time runs out.

Here’s how the Give Back campaign works:

You can vote for one charity per day, and make sure you share the campaign on your wall so that your friends vote, too.

After November 25, the charity with the most votes will receive $50,000. The second and third place charities will receive $35,000 and $25,000, respectively.

Oh, and? Three voters will win $5,000 each! Isn’t that cool? You could do a lot of good with $5,000 (and still keep some for yourself!).

It couldn’t be easier to support your favorite charities and give back this holiday season.

Publisher's Clearing House Give Back

About Publisher’s Clearing House

We’ve all seen the PCH winners getting balloons and a big check, right?

But did you know that Publisher’s Clearing House donates more than 40% of its profits to charities that support the arts, human rights, the environment, medical research, education, and other worthy causes, all year round?

Over the past 60 years, they have supported a long, long list of charities, including the Educational Broadcasting Corporation (that’s public tv to most of us), The New York Botanical Garden, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the National Audubon Society, the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, Swarthmore College, Stanford University, Saint Francis Hospital, and the Central Park Conservancy.

The lists go on and on and on, thanks to the generosity of the Publisher’s Clearing House founders, Harold and LuEsther Mertz (who are now deceased—¹). Their legacy does a lot of good for a lot of people.

One More Thing

Voting for a charity is awesome. Go to the PCH page and vote every day.

But don’t let your giving end there.

Get off your chair, take your kids, and do something for some animals in your community. Clean the cages at the Humane Society or offer to walk their dogs. Make cards or send gifts to soldiers away from their families. Send care packages to sick kids who live in hospitals 24/7.

Vote, and then do something.

You’ll be so glad you did.

Publishers Clearing House is hosting the 3rd annual Give Back charity event! This year fans can vote for St Jude Childrens Research Hospital, The ASPCA, or the USO to receive a combined $100,000 in charitable donations! Plus three lucky voters will win $5000 from Publishers Clearing House!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Publishers Clearing House. The opinions and text are all mine.

© 2013 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.