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Teaching kids about the importance of philanthropy

When you teach children about philanthropy and supporting charities like St. Jude, you help create a brighter future, not only for them but for the broader world community. 

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Patient Beckett runs down a hallway at St. Jude with his arms out.

St. Jude patient Beckett


Why is it important to help others?

One of the most important things we can teach our children is how to care for and support one another. As part of that, it's critical that younger generations know why charitable action is necessary — because sometimes things happen that are outside of our control.


How philanthropy benefits our broader community

When teaching children about philanthropy and giving, an easy place to start is explaining how simple acts of kindness can impact those around them. Here are a few benefits of philanthropy:

  • Builds a stronger and more connected world community
  • Supports those who are less fortunate
  • Supports research and innovation
  • Reduces poverty rates
  • Encourages others to participate in philanthropic activities, increasing its impact

Tip: When going about your daily life, call attention to acts of kindness so your children can see the good being done in the world. These are opportunities to help them understand, in real-time, the implications of charitable action. For example, if someone you know has developed an illness, a simple act of kindness might be to write them a “get well” card or drop off a home-cooked meal. Talk with your child about how this may have made this person feel or how a helpful act can make someone's day easier to manage during a difficult time. 


Artwork by St. Jude patient Alanna

St. Jude patient Eri'elle with her mom and grandma at an outdoor party.

St. Jude patient Eri'elle with her mom


Why is it important to teach children about the joy of giving?

Teaching children about the importance of charity helps them:

  • Cultivate personal values
  • Build an understanding of social responsibility
  • Develop a sense of compassion, empathy and gratitude
  • Feel more connected to others
  • Learn how their actions can impact others in positive ways

How to get children in the spirit of giving

In addition to helping your kids understand the importance of philanthropy, you can also help them get more involved. Here are three ways to foster a spirit of giving:

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1. Involve children in decision-making around charitable giving

Include your children in family discussions about which charitable organizations your family will volunteer for and support with donations. This helps teach them their voice matters and that they can make a difference in the lives of others, no matter how old they are.

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2. Lead by example

Children watch and learn from what adults do. One of the easiest ways to instill a healthy sense of generosity in a child is to become a role model. Make philanthropy a family effort by including them in volunteer activities, taking them with you to drop off donations and asking them to help pick out extras at the grocery store for public food drives. These moments can also be opportunities to remind them about the importance of giving and how it affects others. 

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3. Show the tangible impact of their charitable giving

Seeing the real-world effects of charitable giving can be a powerful way to make an impact on children. Your local food bank or shelter may be open to sharing how donations are distributed or how many families the facility supports, so consider asking for a behind-the-scenes look when dropping off donations or volunteering. This allows children to see the direct impact of donated time or money. 


Teaching about philanthropy with St. Jude 

Whether it’s through a direct donation, creating a fundraising campaign or participating in an event, when you support St. Jude, you help make cures possible for kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Supporting St. Jude as a family now can create a legacy of family giving for tomorrow. 

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St. Jude patient Luna stands with her dad outside the doors of St. Jude, preparing to walk inside.

St. Jude patient Luna with her dad


Why support St. Jude kids?

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Families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food — so they can focus on helping their child live.

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When St. Jude opened in 1962, childhood cancer was considered incurable. Since then, St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate from 20% to more than 80%, and we won't stop until no child dies from cancer.

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Every child deserves a chance to live their best life and celebrate every moment. When you support St. Jude, you help give kids with cancer around the world that chance. Together, we can save more lives.


Make an impact on St. Jude kids

Unlike other hospitals, the majority of funding for St. Jude comes from generous donors

Because of your support, we can provide children cutting-edge treatments not covered by insurance, at no cost to families.

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St. Jude patient Aspen stands in a colorful outfit wearing a big grin.

St. Jude patient Aspen


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