By Yesica Morfin
My daughter, Yitlali, is eleven years old. She started taking classes at ElevArte Community Studio when she was six years old. She loved the classes and the people. She learned to work with clay, she learned to juggle and create amazing art. Most importantly she learned to have confidence in herself and perform in front of crowds.
She wanted to give back and share with other children opportunities to have the same experiences. So, she started collecting pledges and juggling for donations. She went from classroom to classroom at her school asking her teachers if she could juggle for them. It was a success! She felt so proud that she could make a difference and donated the money to ElevArte. The first year she raised more than $100. Last year she was able to donate over $700. Amazing, right? It was definitely a proud moment for my family.
I, as all parents, have dreams and hopes for our children. I hope to one day see my daughter achieve success in a career and make productive contributions to society. I believe it is important to instill a philanthropic spirit in youth at an early age. It's important to see our children grow up to become caring, generous adults with deeply held philanthropic values. Here are 5 ways to encourage your child to be philanthropic:
Children are learning about themselves and their place in the world. It’s important that they are aware that they have the power to help others.
2. What do you care about?
Discuss issues that are important to you and your family. Ask your children to think about what matters to them.
Help your child look into charities that interest him/her. Does your child love art? Look into organizations that give back to the community.
Making a difference in the world isn’t just about giving money. Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience. Find a project in your neighborhood that could use your help.
5. Lead by example.
Our children pick up our behaviors. We are their roles models. If they see you volunteering, they will want to volunteer. If you are helping organizations, they will want to do the same.
I leave you with this quote by Dr. Seuss, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Yesica E. Morfin is a Chicago Public School teacher in the Litlle Village neighborhood. She has been teaching for over 13 years. She has a passion for the arts, especially visual arts and folkloric dance. Every year Yesica is able to integrate these undervalued subjects in her classroom with her first graders. She has been on the Board of Directors of ElevArte Community Studio for the past 4 years. During her free time she also creates her own art and wearable jewelry. "I believe art is the voice within our hearts. It has no boundaries or specific language. Art speaks to everyone. "