How do you get kids to care about their communities? To look beyond themselves and the privilege that they may be so fortunate to enjoy? To care about others and their communities and to want to give back? These are questions that I often hear from parents, and that I ask myself too, now that I'm a mom. Well, when I heard about the 100 Kids Who Care Movement, a lightbulb went off! If you haven't heard of this amazing program, read on. Because if you were asking yourself any of those questions above, then some wonderful ideas and answers can be found in innovative programs like 100 Kids Who Care.
Earlier this year, a friend of mine mentioned that her two young kids were part of a "giving back" club. The premise was simple. 4 times per year, a group of 100 kids in the community came together to collectively donate to charity. The "membership fee" - $10 per child per meeting, or $40 per year. When applying to the club, each child would nominate a local charity to be considered for the donation, and before each meeting, 3 charities would be chosen at random to be considered. If selected, the kids would present on their charities in front of the group. Following the presentations, the group would vote on the most deserving charity and award them the quarterly donation of $1,000 collectively from the group.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? This is an amazing program! Kids learn leadership skills! The value of giving back! Advocacy and presentation skills! Find a group of likeminded peers and community! Learn about charities at a young age! The list goes on and on, but I was so impressed by this concept- known as the 100 Kids Who Care movement, that I just had to share!
There are over 600 100 Who Care clubs across North America and beyond, from kids to men to women to teens, all getting together to support their local communities. Anyone can start a chapter and are supported in doing so by an Alliance that supports members with resources, tips, and connections to other chapters. To learn more about this amazing program, I spoke with several chapters across Canada and am excited to share what they had to say. If you’re looking and why and how teaching kindness is important, these answers speak to both. Take it from these kids and parents who are involved. Bravo to the 100 Kids Who Care clubs around North America and the amazing work you're doing!
What is the best thing about being a part of 100 Kids?
That you get to help out local charities. It was amazing to see how many kids came out to our first event. It was pretty cool to see how many kids from our community also want to help local charities. Ryan, 12, 100 Kids Who Care Dufferin
Seeing the impact that the donations make to the various charities. Samatha, 14, 100 Kids Lakeland
Why do you think it’s important to give to charity and be kind?
So we can help our community and help so people don't suffer. I feel like I have a lot and some people don't have enough money to buy what they need. It makes me happy to know that I can help out in some small way. Lara, 10, 100 Kids Who Care Dufferin
You’ll never regret doing good for the world. There are no bad benefits to helping others. Anna, 16, 100 Kids Who Care Lakeland
Because people don’t have stuff and we need to help those people. Because we want others to be kind too (so we are showing them how to be kind ... by giving) - Maggie and Catherine, 5, 100 Kids Who Care Kawartha Lakes
What type of child do you want to raise and how does the 100 Kids program help you raise them to have those qualities?
It's important to my husband and I to make sure our kids know how lucky they are and to give them a feeling of wanting to help. With 100 Kids Who Care Dufferin my kids will get an opportunity to hear about all different types of charities in our community. For one hour, 4 times a year, the participants at these events get information about different causes that are all so important. They can learn the skill of empathy and take action to help others. Christina, mom, 100 Kids Who Care Dufferin
My hope is to raise children who are kind, willing to give of themselves, and who are leaders. This organization is providing the opportunity for them to do all three. I have three teenagers who participate. My sons are just members who attend quarterly meetings, and my daughter is a Teen Executive Board member and a co-founder of our chapter. Colleen, mom, 100 Kids WHo Care Lakeland
What behaviours have you seen in your kids since being a part of the program?
A bigger awareness of how a group of people with a common cause can come together to make a difference. Cathy and Jeff, parents,
Immediately I was impressed with the discussion in the car on the way home. My kids brought a friend each and it was so amazing to hear them all talk about the charities and why they voted for their selected charity. Afterwards, I heard the same thing from many other parents. That's what this series of events does, it promotes awareness, discussion and even enables each child to take action by nominating a local charity and then voting. One thing that was so amazing too were the questions! The insightful questions that were asked from kids of all ages especially from the youngest members. It was incredible. Chrstine, 100 Kids Who Care, Dufferin