GFS Swinton & Youth Acts of Kindness

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GFS Girl Donates Hair to Children’s Charity

We’re so impressed and proud to reveal that
one of the girls at GFS Swinton made the
brave decision to donate her long locks to charity.
Eleanor Pinkney, who goes to her local GFS group
every Tuesday evening, made a sacrafice that
many girls her age wouldn’t dare do and we
think she is super!
Ellie, who donated a whopping 10 inches of hair in aid
of The Little Princess Trust, says:

“I like to raise money for charity and thought this would be a good way of helping someone who has lost their own hair due to illness. Although my hair is now short I can always grow it back, and maybe do it again.”

Ways to introduce children and teenagers to charitable giving

Unlike Eleanor, your daughter may not have long luscious hair to donate to a good cause but there are still plenty of ways to get the younger generation interested in charity, volunteering or acts of kindness. We’ve listed some ideas below. Make sure to comment underneath if you’ve got any more suggestions!

Give old items to charity shops

Have them go through all their old, long-forgotten belongings – clothing, books, video games and teddies and donate them to charity to shops. The sense of satisfaction of giving these items to a good cause and de-cluttering is not to be missed. Hospitals, libraries and youth centres may also welcome material donations.

Bake sale

We might not all be blessed with fabulous baking skills but most enjoy the joy of raising funds from direct efforts. Encourage your children to hold a bake sale in their local area, town hall or – with permission – school. The money raised can be sent directly to a charity of your daughter’s choice which is a great opportunity for her to research all the different causes out there.

Food Bank giving

When you do your next weekly shop, encourage your child or children to decide on an item to give to a foodbank. Choosing which item to donate from the trolley will get them thinking about the act of giving. Sadly, a lot of people rely on food banks and making the younger generation aware of this will be eye-opening to them.

Suggest activities with their school

On occasion, schools will engage local NGOs and groups to work with their pupils. For example, representatives of charities will come in to speak about their beneficiaries or the organisation’s notable achievements.

If the school is asked by pupils to organise these events it is far more likely they will happen. Encourage your child/children to speak to their teachers or classmates and organise a visit.

Think different for Birthday and Christmas

There are a host of organisations that allow you to buy a “gift” for a loved one. Whether it’s buying a cow for a poverty stricken village in India, some school books for children in third world countries or mosquito nets in malaria zones, there are lots of ways to approach present giving differently. Often, organisations will send letters to the ‘recipient’ of these gifts, meaning your child will be able to see the direct impact of their selflessness.

Visit the elderly

Whether through word of mouth or by signing up to a charity like Friends of the Elderly there are lots of ways to find out about people living alone in your local area. Many people suffer from loneliness and feel cut off from the outside world, unable to leave their house due to health or mobility issues. Home visits, shopping trips or even a simple phone call are all great ways for your children to connect with the elderly. Everybody wants human interaction from time to time and the simple act of asking ‘How are you?’ is a simple and effective act of kindness.

GFS in the community

Our programme has been developed in consultation with every GFS group across England and Wales. Informed by the issues girls and young women face today, and current academic thinking in youth development, our activities are tailored to the age of participants and designed to develop their confidence, self-esteem, wellbeing and resilience. Part of our programme involves activities to get involved in their community and think about the good they can do for others. If you’re interested in signing your daughter up for a GFS group near you, visit this page.

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