TJFS’ CEO Michael Barnett

In my opinion,  one of the most important responsibilities we have as a guardian, parent or grandparent is to instill philanthropy in our youth.  It is up to us to instill that vital value of helping others.  Start when your child is young.  On your child’s birthday invitation, ask each guest to bring a canned food item.  After the party, bring your child to a food bank and make a donation of the collected food items.  I will stop whatever I am doing if a family comes in to make a donation.  I thank the child and family and explain how important the act they are doing is to someone in need.  Everyone leaves with a smile and a sense of making a difference.   We can model volunteerism and helping others for our children (they notice, even if they appear nonchalant).  However we convey “giving,” it is an essential part in making the world better, one child, one person at a time.