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My three children are Noah (9 years old), Jacob (7) and Andrea (4). My husband Sean and I have always talked with our kids about the importance of sharing whatever we have with people who have less than us – which is sometimes hard for the kids to understand because we’re supporting a family of 5 on one modest income and that means we’re on a tight budget. We often end up saying no to things like sports teams (my eldest son would really like to play hockey or soccer) because we just can’t afford it. But we are happy and grateful because we have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food on our table, so that means we can definitely give to others who are less fortunate than us. We have a lot of fun volunteering as a family – giving our time and enthusiasm to charities like Canadian Blood Services or HOPE Worldwide of Canada. It has become an integral part of our family fabric to work together to make the world a better place.

So… when the kids met SHARE Bear a few years ago in Rocky Point Park at a Port Moody community event… they were eager and excited to sign up for the SHARE Bear Kidz Club! Since then the kids have enjoyed changing their traditional birthday parties into “double bank” parties.

Here’s how the parties work… the birthday kid asks their friends not to bring presents to their party – but instead suggests that each child bring 2 toonies (or $5s or $10s). Then we create two banks (usually crafted out of old yogurt containers) and then we explain to the kids that one is for SHARE, and one is for the birthday kid. The party guests have a great time depositing their $ in the banks – effectively participating in the process of giving to help those in need. It’s so wonderfully tangible! And the birthday kid still ends up with a bit of money to buy something special – usually something they’ve been asking for like an art class or karate lessons.

Our family thinks that the SHARE Bear Kidz Club provides an excellent opportunity for parents to teach their kids about compassion and practical demonstrations of love and generosity. It is SO easy to reach out and help out our community, one small (but very heartfelt) donation at a time. Our kids love to share with SHARE!

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