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The end of the school year generally brings a happy face to both children and parents. Children get a much needed break from their studies while parents who send their children to private Jewish day school get a bit of financial relief. Or do they? As the cost of tuition has soared over the past few decades, so have sleep away summer camps. Gone are the days where you can send your child away to sleep away camp for $750-1,000 per month. Now, you will find camps that charge upwards of $4,000 per month per child. This has left many parents with no choice but to keep their kids home for the summer vacation.

Naturally, two months of staying home can drive your children (and you) crazy! Surely you will take them out for pizza or to local parks but there is only so much of that you can do until it becomes repetitive. So, allow us to recommend to you a great summer activity idea: get involved with charity!

All kids want to have fun, however as parents, we all understand what fun means in the mind of an adolescence. While those activities (theme parks, water sports, etc.) are an important part of their lives, it is also important to teach them true life values. What better way to start than teaching them about the importance of charity?

How To Do So

As with various things, we often tend to sit down and discuss many facets of life with our children. Once you have spoken about the importance of charity with your children, here are some great ideas which you can put into action!

  • Food Baskets – most charity organizations pack tons of weekly food baskets. You can literally walk into any one with your children and pack food baskets for the hungry. Not only have you encouraged your child to donate, but you have actually performed a physical act. Actions speak louder than words.
  • Hospital Visits – visiting sick children or people in the hospital is one of the nicest forms of “charity.” While this isn’t your fundamental definition of charity, it is an act of righteousness which runs parallel to charity. You and your children can really have a positive effect on a sick person, which could very well be considered spiritual charity.
  • Cooking/baking for Someone in Need – at any given moment, there are plenty of people in your community who need food, even if their financial situation is stable. This may be due to illness or a recent birth. Cooking and/or baking for someone in need is an excellent way to teach your children the true meaning of generosity. It’s also a very fun activity in which you can burn a few hours!

By instilling these values in your children, you are setting them up to be a shining example to all who know them. More importantly, they will have understood why it is important to donate to charity and to always help in a time of need.