ThreeJars Daily: Match Your Child With His Ideal Cause

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Match Your Child With His Ideal Cause

Kids love helping others, and what better time to nurture that desire than during the holidays. All you need to do is find a cause your child is really passionate about. Not sure where to start? Here are five personality types and the charities that suit them best (they’re also ThreeJars Share partners, so your child can make donations directly from his ThreeJars Share jar!).

By Tara Rummell Berson

Animal Lovers
Music Lovers
Sports Lovers
Nature Lovers
People Lovers

If your child is an animal lover, consider…

Your child can join the mission to help rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws, and support animal shelters nationwide. There are junior volunteer programs, and the ASPCA encourages kids to launch their own drives for things their local shelter might need (like blankets and sheets). Check out the ASPCA Kid site for more info:

The Performing Animal Welfare Society
Does your child love the circus? If so, he can become an advocate for animals in zoos, circuses, and entertainment (think Lassie and Shamu). He can check the Paws wish list and donate items like apples and bread for animals to eat, or even Frosted Flakes for elephants. You and your child can also consider “adopting” a PAWS animal like a mountain lion, tiger, or bear.

WOLF Conservation Center
Through WOLF, your child can become part of the pack by promoting wolf conservation. He can purchase WCC items like stuffed animals with his ThreeJars savings for holiday gifts, or participate in the “Adopt a Wolf” program. “We’ve had some children ‘adopt’ a wolf on behalf of their entire class,” says Maggie Howell, managing director of the WCC. “We send an adoption package to the classroom with photos, information and an adoption certificate. “It’s a great way to contribute to the WCC and educate their peers about our mission.”

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
At WDCS, kids can help save whales, dolphins and porpoises by doing simple things such as turning off the lights when they leave a room to save electricity and help control climate change. And of course, they can make an actual donation. Kids can learn more about the cause, and watch videos of whales and dolphins in their natural environment, by clicking on Kidzone on the WDCS web site.

Sea Turtle Conservancy
Does your kid love Diego? He could also be an animal rescuer by saving sea turtles from extinction. The STC carries out worldwide programs to conserve and recover sea turtle populations through research, education, advocacy and protection of their natural habitats. A great way to support the organization is to adopt an endangered sea turtle. For a $25 donation, you’ll receive a personalized adoption certificate, a one-year subscription to their membership publication, a Sea Turtle Conservation Guide and other cute turtle tchotchkes.

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If your child is a music lover, consider…

Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation
Does your child play an instrument (or just love listening to music)? If so, your future Mozart will dig this cause. Inspired by the movie with the same name, this organization advocates for music education and donates musical instruments to under-funded schools. Have your kids pass down their gently used clarinet, tuba (or any band and orchestral instrument) and/or create an online fundraising page to benefit the foundation.
You and your child could also buy a few holiday cards through the foundation letting family and friend know that a contribution has been made in their honor (a minimum of five cards with at least a $5 donation per card is required).

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If your child is a sports lover, consider…

Play Soccer
An international non-profit group that provides soccer programs in six underprivileged African countries, Play Soccer gets kids excited about helping other children through the game. Your child can help raise money by hosting a soccer tournament and collecting donations to benefit other kids or they can make a donation: $10 buys a sturdy soccer ball that can be used by children in Play Soccer’s year-round program. He can also participate in the Global Peace Games, “grass roots” soccer games that are held every fall.

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If your child is a nature lover, consider…

The Nature Conservancy
If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and live near a Nature Conservancy preserve, you and your child can volunteer and work to protect the land and water. Visit to find the perfect opportunity. Don’t have much time to volunteer? You can adopt an acre of preserved land or a coral reef, support restoration work in the Gulf of Mexico or help the Conservancy plant a billion trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest.
For the holidays, your child can ask friends and family to donate to his personal “nature fund.” One 11-year-old boy decided that instead of asking for gifts, he’d rather raise money for coral reef conservation, says Leslie Shields, editorial and engagement manager for The Nature Conservancy’s digital membership. “His $1,000 donation will support The Nature Conservancy’s work in the Bahamas.”
Your child can help lead the way toward a greener future. Through Carbon Fund, kids learn about environmental projects, such as reforestation and wind farms, as well as a myriad of ways to help conserve energy. At home, he can reduce your family’s carbon footprint by recycling and getting everyone in the family to conserve electricity and water usage. Even simple steps like not wasting food makes a difference in energy-use: About one-quarter of all food prepared annually gets tossed out in the U.S., which is a waste of food, and the energy that was used to produce it.

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If your child is a real people lover, consider…

Save the Children
Your child is the type of kid who’s always looking for ways to help out a friend or family member? Save the Children can help him extend his efforts. The organization helps change the lives of girls and boys in need in the U.S. and around the world when disaster strikes—they provide food, medical care, and education, and help rebuild communities—as well as with every day struggles like poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease.
Encourage your child to plan a fundraising event like hosting a talent show and asking for donations in lieu of admission. Your child can also use their allowance to buy something from their online holiday gift catalog for a child in need. For example, for $30 your kid can help supply healthy snacks to U.S. after-school and summer programs in rural areas. It’s a gift that has an impact long after Christmas is over!

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Tara Rummell Berson is a freelance writer who lives at the Jersey Shore with her husband, two kids, and dog.


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